2019 Isole e Olena, Cepparello, 6x750ml

2019 Isole e Olena, Cepparello, 6x750ml

2019 Isole e Olena, Cepparello, 6x750ml

Availability: In stock

Case size: 6 / Bottle size: 750ml

Duty Status
From £435.00

Critics Score: 100

Publication: Susan Hulme MW, The Wine Independent

Drinking Dates: 2023-2042

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 IT 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 better.
The Vintage
2019 vintage started with a mild and relatively dry winter. Early spring allowed a regular budding while some rainfall during the second half of the year led to an average summer with reduced rainfall and few hot peaks. The fruit was harvested during first and second week of September with the bunches in excellent condition, which has resulted in a generous crop in terms of quantity.

Paolo De Marchi's vineyards, like those of Giovanni Manetti at Fontodi, are superbly tended. This, more than anything, yields wines of the quality that have kept them both ahead of the chasing pack for the past three decades.

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, with the earliest documentation of the village of Olena in the 12th century.

Isole e Olena is situated in the western part of Chianti Classico, just north of the village of Castellina. Its 45 hectares of vineyard are situated between 350 – 450 metres above sea level, planted primarily on galestro soil. Because the western flank of Chianti is open to breezes from the sea, this is a much cooler part of the zone, resulting in wines that are lighter but more scented and elegant than many others.

‘Cepparello’, Paolo's flagship wine, made solely from Sangiovese, is fragrant with great elegance and balance. His Chianti, a blend of 80% Sangiovese supplemented by Canaiolo and a dash of Syrah, is scented and alluring.

The vineyards are located in the high San Donato in Poggio area, at an altitude of 350-480 metres above sea level and face South/South-West. Vines are 54/58 years old and planted with 3,000 (older vineyards) – 7,350/6,500 (new vineyards) with spur-pruned cordon and guyot system. Here soil is a mixture of limestone, clay slates, marls and sandstone.Paolo De Marchi was one of the first producers in Chianti Classico to plant high density vineyards with new lower yielding clones of Sangiovese in the 1980s. In many cases he returned to the poor soils on hillside sites that had been abandoned when quantity took precedent over quality. As a result of these changes, Paolo gets better grapes, and hence better wines.

Fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks with 12 days of maceration, délestage (or 'rack and return') and pumping-over twice a day. De Marchi first experimented with the délestage method in 1996 and subsequently began using it for all red wines from the 1997 vintage. Maturation lasted one year and took place in 225 litre barrels (of which 5% was new oak) and 4,000 and 2,700 litre oak casks. The wine was then released after three to four month of bottle ageing.