Isole e Olena comprises two vineyards, ‘Isole’ and ‘Olena’, which are located near Catellina 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 the1950s. Paolo de Marchi the current owner grew up in Piedmont and was finishing his oenological studies when he purchased the Estate form his father in 1971: 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.
Isole e Olena makes several wines, which include several IGTs from international varieties and one of the best Chianti Classicos on the market. 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 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.
Paolo, who has been a winemaker, 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 overt verbose ostentation. Paolo harnesses the wines 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.’ In its youth it displays layers of dark fruit: red berries, plums and black cherry. It presents a wonderful floral fragrance, Tuscan sunflowers and tulips, enveloping mint, candy, liquorice, smoke, cigar box, tar and sweet spice. It retains a lovely freshness and acidity which after time develops into an almost Havana cigar aroma and the palate embraces leather, crushed flowers. One smell of this wine will transport you to the Tuscan hills!
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