Robert Parker 97+
One of the icon wines of Tuscany, the Isole e Olena 2019 Cepparello is all Sangiovese crafted by the loving hands of a winemaking legend, the great Paolo De Marchi (who finalized the sale of his beloved estate when this wine hit the market). Indeed, this wine opens a discussion on the future of this celebrated IGT Toscana, a wine that followed a strict vision and style under De Marchi. It is elegant and rich with fine aromas of black and purple fruit. It ferments in oak and ages in French barrique for 20 months, with one-third new oak. With 58,000 bottles released, this is a sure candidate for long cellar aging.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2048
The Wine Independent 100
Paolo di Marchi’s leaving present to Tuscany is this delightful 2019 Isole e Olena Cepparello. Cepparello is a blend of Sangiovese from different vineyards, selected by Di Marchi on the basis of “the best exposure, elevation, soil, genetics and age. I feel this adds complexity.” The first vintage was in 1980 when 100% Sangiovese was not permitted under the Chianti Classico rules. Those rules have since changed but the wine remains an IGT Toscana. It has a supremely enticing nose with cream and exotic spice, reminding me of Arabian spice markets. With the 2019 there is an added precision to the aromas, less heavy oak, and no greenness on the palate. It is concentrated with a rich velvety texture but without any heaviness and with a gentle unforced quality. The tannins are fine and very well integrated, in fact finer and better integrated than even the excellent 2016 vintage. It is of course very young now but it’s almost too delicious not to drink! Supremely graceful, it just gets better and bette
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2042
The 2019 Cepparello has closed down quite a bit since I tasted it last year, as if all of its energy is focused inward. That won’t be an issue in another few years’ time, but for now readers should resist any temptation to open bottles. Time in the glass brings out gorgeous Sangiovese fruit, along with hints of blood orange, spice, cedar, mint and tobacco, all wrapped together by plush, silky contours. The purity of the fruit is just striking. In 2019, Cepparello is more finesse than power. I expect it will age beautifully over the next several decades.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2044