Isole e Olena Cepparello 2018
Isole e Olena Cepparello
Isole e Olena Cepparello is 100% Sangiovese, regarded widely as one of the original Super Tuscans. Perfect for ageing.
A delightful nose of ripe, dark cherries and spice invades the senses. Aromas of red fruits and cherries along with a touch of spice from the expert use of oak. On the palate, ripe fruit and well-balanced structure produce an elegant wine with soft tannins and long length.
Long and elegant on the finish, this Cepparello is still very youthful and will develop more complexity as it ages, adding extra tertiary notes of grilled meat to its myriad of complex flavours and aromas.
The name ‘Isole e Olena’ came about in the 1950s when two adjoining estates, ‘Isole’ and ‘Olena’, were purchased by the De Marchi family and combined to form one.
The history of both estates dates back many hundreds of years, and the earliest documentation of the village of Olena goes as far back as the 12th Century.
The estate has been run by Paolo De Marchi since 1976. Over the years, Paolo has become a leading expert on Sangiovese and travels across the world talking and teaching about this variety.
The grapes for Cepparello come from the best sites on the estates. Situated 400 metres above sea level, facing south-west, soils are primarily galestro, a schistous clay. 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 vineyards are approximately 400 metres above sea level and face south-west. The oldest vines on the estate were planted in 1958 and the youngest in 2007.
Paolo was one of the first producers in Chianti Classico to plant high density vineyards with the new, lower yielding clones of Sangiovese in the 1980s.
In many cases, as with Poggio di Olena, he returned to the poor soils on hillside sites that had been abandoned when quantity as more important than quality. ‘Isole e Olena’
Fermentation took place in tank with 15 days maceration, delestage and pumping-over twice a day.
Delestage (or 'rack and return') is a method of extraction during fermentation which gives wines of good colour and soft tannins.
After crushing, the must fermented on the skins for 21-28 days at 30-32°C, with délestage and pumping over carried out twice a day to give good colour and soft tannins.
The maceration tank was emptied of the fermenting must, the cap was dried out for two to three hours and then the must was poured back over the cap. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked into barrels.
Isole e Olena Cepparello was 100% barrel-aged, a third in new French and American oak (5% of the total), a third in one year old oak and the remaining third was put into two year old oak. The wine remained in barrel for 20 months and then matured in bottle before release.
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.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (August 2020) 95/100 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. Drink 2025-2042.
Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (September 2020) 97/100 points
Isole e Olena Cepparello - Hay Wines