2018 Isole e Olena Cepparello, Tuscana IGT, Italy – WA 96

2018 Isole e Olena Cepparello, Tuscana IGT, Italy – WA 96



Paolo de Marchi, who has now completed his 46 vintages, is one of Tuscany’s most renown “players”.  However, many are puzzled to learn his career began in Piedmont where his family farmed a small Barolo estate.  In the 1950s Paolo’s father seized the opportunity to purchase two adjoining very small Chianti estates, ‘Isole’ and ‘Olena’.  In 1976, the 25-year-old Paolo took over the property, and in 1980 he produced the his first 100% Sangiovese – Cepparello.  Today, Paolo is affectionately called “Mr. Sangiovese”

Many of you purchased the stunning 2016 and 2017, and now the 2018 is available.  If you purchased the 2016 and 2017, you should want to continue your vertical, if not then this is another ideal vintage to begin.  The always highly rated Isole e Olena’s flagship Cepparello is 100% Sangiovese, produced from a top selection of estate’s best fruit from its oldest and highest elevated organically grown vineyards in the Barberino Val d’Elsa in the northern part of the Chianti Classico zone.  Fermented in open top wood vats for over 30 days to provide more air during vinification, and then aged in a combination of barrique and larger French oak vats for 20 months (30% new).

Again the ratings are excellent!  

“A pure expression of Sangiovese, the 2018 Cepparello is a beautiful expression that speaks to the classic and most exemplary side of this versatile and deeply expressive grape. This vintage is especially bright and ethereal with a true sense of luminosity and clarity that radiates from both the wine’s appearance and its fragrant bouquet. Tart cherry and cassis segue to balsam herb and wild violets. To the palate, the wine shows muscle and determination with sweet tannins and impressive depth of favor. Cepparello remains true to its unique identity in this vintage. Production is 42,000 bottles. 2022 – 2045” – 96 points, Wine Advocate (October 2021)

“The aromas of dark fruit and hazelnuts are so enticing, with undertones of licorice and slate. Medium to full body with round tannins and a savory finish. It’s so pretty to taste now. Just a hint of allspice at the end. Drinkable now, but better in 2023.” – 95 points, James Suckling (July 2021)