Following yesterday’s Fontodi release, we are delighted to release the other stunning Chianti powerhouse, Isole e Olena. As mentioned previously, the 2015 vintage is a remarkable one in Tuscany, already being spoken in the same regard as the stunning 2006, 2010 and 2013. This is extremely exciting for Isole e Olena, their world beating Cepparello and Chianti taken together are two of the best in class wines from Italy and will be considered as two of the finest ever vintages from the Estate. The vintage experienced exceptionally dry and hot weather during the summer resulting in concentrated ripe berries. The wines have incredible depth, intensity and precision. Of the vintage, Antonio Galloni says ‘The 2015 vintage presents consumers with a tremendous opportunity to acquire fine, cellar worthy wines without spending a fortune.’ This could not be more true than for Cepparello, which priced today at £270, offers remarkable value. Cepparello is yet to be scored by the leading critics, but we can expect a score of 95-98, the upper end of its scores from the great Chianti years.
Isole e Olena comprises of two vineyards, ‘Isole’ and ‘Olena’, which are located near Castellina in the very heart of Chianti Classico. Until the beginning of the 20th Century, the vineyards were huddled in shallow hills entirely isolated from one another. The two vineyards were purchased by the de Marchi family in the 1950s. Paolo de Marchi, the current owner, grew up in Piedmont and was finishing his oenological studies when he purchased the Estate from his father in 1971. It is an estate he loved fondly from visits as a child. He moved down from Piedmont to unite the Isole and Olena vineyards into one and created one of Italy’s best wines. Paolo is now considered one of the leading winemakers in the world.
Paolo, who has been a winemaker his entire life, boy to man, understands perhaps better than anyone how to temper the rusticity of Sangiovese. He extracts the typicity of the terroir and favours authenticity over verbose ostentation. Paolo harnesses the wine’s power and balances it with finesse creating something that is precise, composed, and vibrant, with an extremely long velvety finish. Antonio Galloni summarises the wine perfectly, ‘Cepparello is the Haut-Brion of Tuscany’s high-end, pure Sangioveses.’ As such, the price tag of £270 per case is truly exceptional.
Cepparello is their flagship wine, the pinnacle of Paolo’s ability and a wine that through his passion and expertise reflects the very best of Sangiovese, it is made exclusively from it. The grapes are handpicked from the best sites on the Estate, which are sited at an altitude of 400 metres. After fermentation the wine is aged in a combination of American and French oak for 18 months. One third of the oak is new and the other two thirds are a combination of the two oak styles. The French imparts vanilla, brioche and smoke creating something more elegant and refined. The American oak adds flavours of coconut and overt toasty notes with auxiliary power, the result is one of the most acclaimed and decorated wines from Italy.
Galloni also posits that ‘Vintages like 2015 tend to raise the quality of entry-level wines. That is exactly what has happened with the 2015 Chianti Classicos’. Along with Fontodi’s Chianti Classico, Isole e Olena’s Chianti is the best in class which embodies incredible elegance and complexity. It conjures harmony and expression and is one of the finest wines in the world for under £18 a bottle, including duty and VAT. We are very pleased to release this today at £165 in bond per case of twelve bottles.
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