Cepparello is one of Italy's most iconic wines and a reflection of Paolo De Marchi's career. 1980 was the first vintage produced, but it started in the vineyard in the early 70's. The common misunderstanding that Sangiovese needed to be blended with Bordeaux varieties to be great puzzled Paolo, he said the problem isn't with Sangiovese; it's with us, we don't know how to farm it. From there he started a 20 year journey of clonal selection and viniculture that ended with what today is considered the baseline for producing great Sangiovese in Chianti Classico. Today Cepparello, named after a small seasonal stream among the vineyards, is a selection of the estates best fruit. Soils primarily Galestro, vineyards orientated Southwest and are 400 meters above sea-level.
"Isole e Olena's 2010 Cepparello is magnificent. In particular, I admire the way the wine fleshes out in all directions, with seemingly endless layers of dark, mineral-infused berry, plum and pomegranate notes. A primal wine in need of significant cellaring, the 2010 is easily one of the highlights of the year. Bright, saline notes support the precise finish. Today, the 2010 is naturally quite backward and undeveloped, but it should be a gem in another 5-10 years. This is an especially dark, structured Cepparello built for the cellar. The 2010 brightens up with time in the glass, but it remains one of the darker, more brooding wines made in the estate's history.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni
"At times the 2010 Cepparello reminds me of the 2004, but with more depth. Finessed tannins frame the fruit in this medium-bodied, totally gracious Cepparello. There is no shortage of personality here. Production was down in 2010 owing to a difficult and fickle growing season. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2035.
The Wine Advocate
"This is tangy and delicious with blueberry and cherry character. Full body, with slightly chewy tannins and a bright acidity with a clean and tangy finish. So delicious to drink now. Drink or hold. "
"A round, enticing style, with a touch of new oak lending toast and spice accents to the black cherry, plum and tobacco flavors. Dense and slightly beefy, finishing long. "
"One of the prototypes of the all-Sangiovese Super Tuscan. Cherry brandy and smoky tar on the nose, still very young and slightly unformed. Blackberry fruit on the palate and gritty tannins, firm structure, great length with hints of white pepper and sage in the finish.