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. 14% ABV. Delightful nose of dark red fruits, road tar and flowers. Medium body with terrific acidity. Crisp and rustic with tart red fruits. Sour cherry, raspberry, earth and a hint of menthol on the palate. Medium length on the finish with dusty tannins. Charming wine that drinks well now and should age gracefully for another 2-3 years.
My rating: 91 points.
One of the world’s great wine values at $25 per bottle. Buy accordingly.