Today we are delighted to release Isole e Olena’s new vintages, the stunning Cepparello 2013, one of their finest in years and the superb 2014 Chianti: taken together they are two of the best in class wines from Italy. The 2013 vintage in Chianti was stunning, a cool spring lowered yields, while a cool summer ripened the grapes slowly and Autumn followed suit, allowing the grape growers to pick ripe and balanced fruit. This has resulted in the leading estates creating their finest wines since 2010 and for Isole e Olena this is no exception.

Isole e Olena comprises two vineyards, ‘Isole’ and ‘Olena’, which are located near Castellina in the very heart of Chianti Classico. Until the beginning of the 20th Century the vineyards were huddled in shallow hills, entirely isolated from one another. The two vineyards were purchased by the de Marchi family in the 1950s. Paolo de Marchi, the current owner, grew up in Piedmont and was finishing his oenological studies when he purchased the estate from his father in 1971. It is an estate he loved fondly from visits as a child. He moved down from Piedmont to unite the Isole and Olena vineyards into one and created one of Italy’s best wines. Paolo is now considered one of the leading winemakers in the world.

Isole e Olena makes one of the best Chianti Classico on the market, embodying incredible elegance and complexity, it conjures harmony and expression and is one of the finest wines in the world for under £20 a bottle, including duty and VAT; at our special offer price today £18.50. We are very pleased to release this today for £160 per case of six bottles. Cepparello is their flagship wine, the pinnacle of Paolo’s ability and a wine that, through his passion and expertise, reflects the very best of Sangiovese – it is made exclusively from it. The grapes are handpicked from the best sites on the estate, which are sited at an altitude of 400 metres. After fermentation the wine is aged in a combination of American and French oak for 18 months. One third of the oak is new, split between the two varieties. The French imparts vanilla, brioche and smoke, creating something more elegant and refined. The American oak adds flavours of coconut and overt toasty notes with auxiliary power. The result is one of the most acclaimed and decorated wines from Italy.

Paolo, who has been a winemaker his entire life, boy to man, understands perhaps better than anyone how to temper the rusticity of Sangiovese. He extracts the typicity of the terroir and favours authenticity over verbose ostentation. Paolo harnesses the wine’s power and balances it with finesse creating something that is precise, composed, and vibrant, with an extremely long velvety finish. Antonio Galloni summarises the wine perfectly ‘Cepparello is the Haut-Brion of Tuscany’s high-end, pure Sangioveses.’ As such the price tag of £260 per case is truly exceptional.

James Suckling has awarded Cepparello 2013 94 points and the Chianti Classico 91, however the wines lean toward elegance over the unbridled power Suckling values. We think the Ceparrello is one of the best in years and representative of the superb 2013 vintage, a sentiment which will no doubt be reflected by the other leading critics. Both wines come highly recommended.

Isole e Olena Cepparello 2013. 6x75cl, £260 IB – 94 Points, James Suckling

A tangy and rich red with black currant and lemon character. Medium body, firm tannins and a crisp finish. Love the citrus and bright sangiovese. Delicious now but better in 2019. 

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2014, 6x75cl, £160 IB – 91 Points James Suckling

A tangy and fresh red with plum, dried lemon and berry character. Medium body, bright fruit and a fruity finish. Drink now.

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