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Isole e Olena Cepparello 2010

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
  • V96
  • WE96
  • RP95
  • JS93
  • WS91
  • D91
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

V 96
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

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.

Range:96+ points

WE 96
Wine Enthusiast

It opens with an enticing fragrance of black berries, toast, Mediterranean spices and a touch of vanilla. The vibrant, youthful palate delivers a core of black cherry accented with black pepper layered with mocha, mint and tobacco notes. The racy acidity and solid but brooding tannins demonstrate that this wine still needs time to develop to its extraordinary potential. Drink 2018–2035.
Cellar Selection

RP 95
The Wine Advocate

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.
Range: 93-95

JS 93
James Suckling

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.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

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.

D 91
Decanter

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.

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Isole e Olena

Isole e Olena

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Isole e Olena, , Italy
Isole e Olena
Isole e Olena was formed in the 1950's when the DeMarchi family purchased two vineyards in the heart of the Chianti Classico region and combined them into one. Since the 1970's, Paolo DeMarchi has become a leading winemaker in the region by experimenting to improve the Chianti blends and by making wines from 100% Sangiovese (which he labels Cepparello). The goal is producing complex wines with good aging potential.

Bordeaux

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...

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One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

CHMISO3101110_2010 Item# 119544

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