Isole e Olena 2017 'Cepparello' (Sangiovese), Toscana IGT

Isole e Olena 2017 'Cepparello' (Sangiovese), Toscana IGT

Item Number: 14689

UPC: 8-032049217028

Country: Italy
Region: Tuscany
Sub Region: Chianti Classico
Appellation/AVA: Toscana IGT
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vintage: 2017
Grape(s): 100% Sangiovese
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 6
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 15
Soil Type: Galestro (clay-slate)
Elevation: 1,310 feet

History: Paolo De Marchi developed the concept and style of Cepparello (100% Sangiovese bottling) in the mid-1970’s. Until very recently in Tuscany’s viticulture history, Sangiovese was thought to fare poorly on its own, and the Chianti Classico appellation demanded that it be blended with other grapes (including white) to earn the DOCG. Paolo differed from this opinion and produced the first Cepparello in 1980--a Sangiovese that could stand on its own and rival international single-varietal wines. It was a great success and has been his prized wine ever since.

The wine is a cuvée from the estate’s top vineyard sites that have been planted via massal selection. It is named after a small stream, Borro Cepparello, originating at the highest point on the Isole e Olena estate. The label is an original nineteenth century design used by the De Marchi family winery, Proprietà Sperino, in Alto Piemonte.

Vinification: Each vintage, the grapes for Cepparello are hand selected from the best sites on the estate. After crushing, the must is fermented in oak vats on the skins for about three weeks, with delestage (rack and return) and punching down. Paolo uses delestage to create softer tannins. The maceration tank is emptied of fermenting must, the cap allowed to dry out for 4-5 hours, and then the must is gently poured back over the cap. After malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked into barrels. It is 100% barrel-aged, 1/3 in new, 1/3 in one-year-old oak, and the remaining third is put into 2-year-old oak. Most barrels are French oak, with a tiny presence of American oak (3-5%). The wine remains in barrel for 18-20 months and then ages in bottle for one year before release.

Tasting Notes: The wine is dense and vibrant ruby red. It has a subtle finesse that exudes pure black fruit, minerals, and licorice notes. It is refined and elegant with a clear tannic grip. Cepparello has a long aging potential, so it's perfect for the cellar.


  • Vinous
    Rating: 97 (9/18/2020)

    The 2017 Cepparello is another in a series of stunningly beautiful Cepparellos from Paolo de Marchi. Bright and beautifully focused in the glass, with tremendous depth, the 2017 is positively stellar from the very first taste. Succulent dark cherry, plum, licorice, spice, menthol and coffee all open up with a bit of air. Here, too, Paolo De Marchi has done a tremendous job in preserving freshness in the wine. Readers who can muster the patience will be rewarded with a spectacular wine.
  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 95+ (9/30/2020)

    The Isole e Olena 2017 Cepparello is one of the great Sangiovese-based wines of the vintage. From a growing season that was challenging for almost everyone in Italy, this wine sails through, pushed by a profound sense of varietal purity. This dark, mid-weight red reveals lifted tones of cherry, wild rose, rosemary essence, toasted almond and potting soil. These components come together with seamless transitions and a polished finish. The tannins are elegant and integrated. The wine defies the expectations of the vintage.