Isole e Olena Cepparello 2016
Although winegrower Paolo de Marchi is very well known for his Chianti Classico, it is his flagship wine Cepparello for which he has received the highest acclaim. In 1980, when Paolo first introduced the Cepparello, the fact that it is made from 100% Sangiovese proscribed the use of Chianti Classico as its designation. Paolo decided to bottle it as an IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica). He was the second producer (after Montevertine) to use this classification for a single varietal Sangiovese. As noted above, laws have since changed and Paolo could now designate the wine a Chianti Classico Riserva, but I once heard him say he had already established the wine as an IGT and didn’t see the need to change that.
As with all of his wines, Cepparello is farmed and produced sustainably. He ages the wine in oak (1/3 new) between 18-20 months. The wine is focused, bright and beautiful, with aromas and flavors of dark cherries, plums, licorice, spice, rosemary and coffee. It is varietally pure with elegant tannins and oak that is well tempered by the concentration of fruit and acidity. This is an amazing food wine. Pair it with a nice thick grilled T-bone steak or braised meat. Braised Wild Boar is a noted specialty of the Chianti region.