Named for the “Borro Cepparello,” a tiny stream that originates above the highest vineyard at Isole e Olena, the wine is made from the most perfect clusters of Sangiovese, carefully selected and hand harvested from the best parcels on the estate. The juice macerates for three weeks in large oak vats, and matures for at least eighteen months in French barriques, of which a third are new. After bottling, the wine matures in the cellar for another full year before release.
In the glass, 1998 Cepparello has a garnet color, with just a flash of mature brick at the edge. The nose unfurls with dried amarena cherries, latakia, dried flowers, and Tuscan herbs moving in and out of the background as the wine opens in the glass. On the palate, the wine is fine-grained, with mineral-laced, red berry and plum flavors that echo the nose, all bracketed by firm, silky tannins. The fine galestro minerality cleanses the palate and carries the flavors through a long, elegant finish.
About this wine producer: In the 1970’s, Paolo De Marchi came to the Isole e Olena estate, which his family had previously purchased in the Chianti Classico region of Italy. Since this time, Paolo has extensively replanted the approximately 50 hectares (125 acres) of vineyards, based on his experimentation regarding planting density, soil composition, and clonal selection. A key aspect of Paolo’s success is his desire to incorporate scientific research with the traditions of the region. This allows him to produce high quality grapes and wines that express the true character of Tuscany. Today, Paolo De Marchi is known worldwide for his Chianti Classico wines and his iconic Cepparello, made from 100% Sangiovese. He also produces exceptional wines from his plantings of “international” varieties. As with his Sangiovese-based wines, Paolo’s Isole e Olena Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay varietal wines demonstrate both the characteristics of the grapes, as well as the influence of the Tuscan terroir.