About the Wine
"A pure expression of Sangiovese, the 2018 Cepparello is a beautiful expression that speaks to the classic and most exemplary side of this versatile and deeply expressive grape. This vintage is especially bright and ethereal with a true sense of luminosity and clarity that radiates from both the wine's appearance and its fragrant bouquet. Cepparello remains true to its unique identity in this vintage." ~96 Robert Parker.
Since the mid-1970 Paolo de Marchi has led the revolution that occurred in Chianti Classico in Tuscany. As a young man, he graduated college and left his native Piemonte for an unproductive family farm in Tuscany. He has helped elevate the ancient grape Sangiovese (the blood of Jove), to world-class. His wines have been ambassadors around the world and highlight how far the inexpensive, insipid Chianti of the past has improved to become one of the most prized wines and wine regions anywhere. Cepparello is the flagship wine of the estate and is truly a "WOW" wine that must be tasted to truly appreciate it.
The name ‘Isole e Olena’ came about in the 1950s when the De Marchi family purchased and combined two adjoining small towns, ‘Isole’ and ‘Olena’, each of which dated back hundreds of years. The estate is located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region at the midway point between Siena and Florence.
For Paolo, showcasing the “typicity of Chianti” is more than simply a philosophical or stylistic debate. As a winemaker, his number one priority is to connect the wines to the land where the vines are grown. Through this hands-off approach to winemaking, these wines are uniquely known for linking freshness to contrasting intensity, depth, and longevity. In 1980, Paolo pioneered his flagship wine, Cepparello, made from 100% Sangiovese. This wine has been classified as a “Super Tuscan”, as it violates the traditional Chianti Classico regulations that include a white grape variety into the final blend. As a result of Paolo’s successful technique, this wine set the standard for the pure Sangiovese movement. The wine is made from a top selection of the estate's best fruits from the vineyards in Barberino Val d'Elsa in the northern part of Chianti Classico.
In 2022, Paolo sold the property the EPI group, which also owns Charles-Heidsieck Champagne and Biondi-Santi in Montalcino.
Aging: 18-20 months
Tasting Notes: 100% Sangioves. See critical reviews below.
A pure expression of Sangiovese, the 2018 Cepparello is a beautiful expression that speaks to the classic and most exemplary side of this versatile and deeply expressive grape. This vintage is especially bright and ethereal with a true sense of luminosity and clarity that radiates from both the wine's appearance and its fragrant bou uet. Tart cherry and cassis segue to balsam herb and wild violets. To the palate, the wine shows muscle and determination with sweet tannins and an impressive depth of flavor. Cepparello remains true to its unique identity in this vintage. ~96 Robert Parker.
Deep ruby color. Intense nose, full of lush blackberry, black cherry, and spicy forest floor with a hint of cigar box. Round and smooth on the palate, bags of pronounced, crisp raspberries supported by finely-woven tannin, flowing gently. ~96 Falstaff.
The aromas of dark fruit and hazelnuts are so enticing, with undertones of licorice and slate. Medium to full body with round tannins and a savory finish. It’s so pretty to taste now. Just a hint of allspice at the end. Drinkable now, but better in 2023. ~95 James Suckling.
Like the 2018 Chianti Classico, Cepparello shows no dilution, although the pure Sangiovese fruit gives a more austere structure. The sour cherry nose is lightly smoky but refined. Rich and very concentrated, the palate is supported by firm tannins that are in stark contrast to the breezier Chianti Classico. At present, it's rather closed and furry and needs time to harmonize and the tannins to integrate. The high alcohol doesn't show, and there's ample energy on the long finish. ~94 Decanter.
The 2018 Cepparello is a brilliant, tightly-wound wine that is going to need a number of years to unwind. Today I very much like its energy and vibrancy. Readers will find a Cepparello that is more about persistence than volume. Dark red/purplish berry fruit, spice, lavender, and menthol are laced into the silky finish. ~94 Vinous Media.
This bold Sangiovese has aromas of camphor, oak-driven spice and violet. The full-bodied, concentrated palate features dried cherry, steeped prune, licorice and coffee bean set against the heat of evident alcohol and assertive, close-grained tannins that clench the finish. ~92 Wine Enthusiast.
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