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1997 Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT – Bottle Notes

Paolo di Marchi has run Isole e Olena since the age of 20. Paolo avoids the Cabernet Sauvignon many of his neighbors have begun to incorporate into their Chiantis, believing it overshadows the Sangiovese. The flagship wine at Isole e Olena is Cepparello, a barrique-aged Sangiovese classified as an IGT – because at the time of its creation in the 1980s, a wine comprising 100% Sangiovese could not legally be labelled as Chianti.

Garnet in color. 13.5% ABV. Exquisite nose of dried red fruits, road tar, iron and menthol. Medium body with acidity in spades. Perfect balance of fruit and tannins. Dried cherries, blood, graphite and anise on the palate. Medium length on the finish with super silky tannins. Absolutely stunning. One of the best bottles from Tuscany in recent memory. If you are fortunate to still have a bottle in the cellar it will not get any better than it is right now.

My rating: 97 points.

The winery is firing on all cylinders and current vintages are readily available for about $75. Look for the 2013.

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