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.
Crimson in color with some bricking at the edge of the glass. 14% ABV. Beautiful nose of dried red fruits, anise, wet asphalt and leather. Medium body with exquisite acidity. Rich and powerful all the while maintaining a rustic sense I expect from this producer. Cherries, iron, licorice and tea on the palate. Exceptional length on the finish. Just an awesome Super Tuscan that is showing remarkably at 15 years of age. Drink over the next 3-5 years.
My rating: 95 points.
The winery is firing on all cylinders and current vintages are readily available for about $70. Look for the 2015.