Isole e Olena Cepparello Red IGT 2017
A beautiful expression of Sangiovese that will become even more gorgeous with time. Isole e olena Cepparello’s got a spot reserved in your cellar, to enjoy between 2023–2036.
Bright ruby red colour. Beautiful and seductive, with an impressive array of fruit and spice aromas. Black and red cherries, dark plum, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, the rich fruitiness of the wine is touched with oak and vanilla spice. The full-bodied and red fruit palate is well-balanced with velvety tannins and a fresh, persistent finish.
This flagship Cepparello is 100% Sangiovese aged in French oak barrels. One of Tuscany’s most compelling wines, the style emphasises finesse over power. The name Cepparello is taken from an old stream, Borro Cepparello, originating in the highest point of the vineyards on the Isole e Olena estate. The first Cepparellos were vinified in cement. The cellar was heated to induce malolactic fermentation and the wines were subsequently aged roughly equal parts Slavonian oak casks and smaller French oak barriques, with a dollop of chestnut barrels thrown into the mix.
Today, only the top selection of grapes from the estate’s vineyards in Barberino Val d’Else are used to create this wine. The vineyard is located in the northern part of Chianti Classico, situated 400 metres above sea level, facing southwest, with primarily galestro (schistous clay) soils. After a manual harvest and gentle crushing, the must ferments on skins in oak vats for 3 weeks at 30–32°C. Délestage and pumping over is carried out twice a day to give good colour and soft tannins. The maceration tank is emptied of the fermenting must, the cap dried out for 4–5 hours and then the must is poured back over the cap. After malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked into barrels. The wine is 100% barrel-aged, a third in new French and American oak (with American barrels making up 5% of the total), a third in one-year-old oak and the remaining third in two-year-old oak. The wine ages in barrel for 20 months and then matures in bottle for one year before release.
Keen on more form the same vineyard?
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
– 98 POINTS
Paolo de Marchi’s ‘study in Sangiovese’ is a selection of the vintage’s finest grapes from Isole e Olena’s oldest vineyards, high up in Chianti Classico’s western sector of Barberino Tavarnelle. Harvested in mid-October, it is a captivating tangle of earth, spring blossom, coffee, tobacco and cedar. Perfumed lavender and violet lift the generous dark fruit and the brilliantly tactile powdery texture lends further dimension. This reaches great depths while simultaneously soaring effortlessly to heady heights. Positively succulent and more-ish on the finish.
– 95+ POINTS
The Isole e Olena 2017 Cepparello is one of the great Sangiovese-based wines of the vintage. From a growing season that was challenging for almost everyone in Italy, this wine sails through, pushed by a profound sense of varietal purity. This dark, mid-weight red reveals lifted tones of cherry, wild rose, rosemary essence, toasted almond and potting soil. These components come together with seamless transitions and a polished finish. The tannins are elegant and integrated. The wine defies the expectations of the vintage. Production is 43,000 bottles, 1,800 magnums and more large formats (including six- and 12-liter bottles).
– 97 POINTS
The 2017 Cepparello is another in a series of stunningly beautiful Cepparellos from Paolo de Marchi. Bright and beautifully focused in the glass, with tremendous depth, the 2017 is positively stellar from the very first taste. Succulent dark cherry, plum, licorice, spice, menthol and coffee all open up with a bit of air. Here, too, Paolo De Marchi has done a tremendous job in preserving freshness in the wine. Readers who can muster the patience will be rewarded with a spectacular wine.
– 96 POINTS
Scorched earth, new leather, ripe black-skinned berry and balsamic whiffs of camphor and cedar form the nose. Smooth and juicy, the savory palate delivers ripe Morello cherry, mature plum, toasted hazelnut and ground clove set against velvety, enveloping tannins. Drink 2022–2029.
A beautifully linear and refined sangiovese with polished tannins and super tight fruit. Yet, it shows subtle complexity of blackberries, black cherries and dark chocolate. Some hazelnuts. Intense, vibrant finish with a creamy texture. Extremely well done for this hot, dry vintage. Drink after 2023.
– 93 POINTS
This is full of ripe black cherry, plum, earth and mineral flavors, the sweet fruit meshing with dense, dusty tannins. There is a light touch of oak spice, and the finish is long and structured. Best from 2021 through 2028.