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.
95pts James Suckling
A beautifully linear and refined sangiovese with polished tannins and super tight fruit. Yet, it shows subtle complexity of blackberries, black cherries and dark chocolate. Some hazelnuts. Intense, vibrant finish with a creamy texture. Extremely well done for this hot, dry vintage. Drink after 2023.
95pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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. Production is 43,000 bottles, 1,800 magnums and more large formats (including six- and 12-liter bottles). Rating: 95+
The flagship wine consists of 100% Sangiovese aged in French oak barrels. Over the years, Paolo has refined his Cepparello by giving it more air during vinification and increasing time spent in oak from 12-14 months to 18-20 months. Although De Marchi started focusing on the use of better quality oak around 1993, it is the increased age of the vineyards themselves that have given Cepparello its overall finesse. 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.