TN: 2011 Isole e Olena Cepparello

2011 Isole e Olena Cepparello: nose exudes menthol, mint, cinnamon; on the palate, silky deep dark rich red fruit, bright red hard-candy, tobacco leaf, menthol; spicy cinnamon; complex and balanced; I love this wine; big smile from the first wiff to the long finish; started to chuckle a little I was so happy with the experience; perfect way to take the edge off a really long week;

as you might imagine, this is stuffed with goodies, will only get better, and has a long way to go

this is why I love Italian wine; what a wonderful producer

My first experience with Cepparello was the 2013, I thought it was fantastic but needs a lot of time in the bottle. I need to back fill a few to try them with age.

Thanks for the great TN. If you ever met the proprietor, Paolo De Marchi you would be happy for him - that he makes such great wine. Really great guy. If you ever get a chance try the syrah also.

Great note. I think '11 is an under-rated vintage for Tuscany. Many of the wines were made very well and have great balance and freshness. I had the '11 Fontodi Flaccianello over the weekend; it needs five years in the cellar but has great raw materials.

Sounds absolutely delicious - I’ll be on the lookout for it. Thanks for posting the note, Henry.

I agree with this. Following on the 2010 hype this year got drowned out, but I have had some really good experiences with it.

Also big +1 on Isole e Olena - I’ve been buying and enjoying Cepparello since the 95 vintage, and it’s one of the Tuscan wines I am most likely to reach for at home.

Visited several years ago and met both Paulo and Marta, tasted with Marta. I found them captivating and wonderful people.

I typically love their Chiantis. The Cepparello requires a decade+ IMHO. Of the 4 or 5 vintages I’ve tasted young…the wood is a little too pronounced…for my tastes. Lots of stuffing so I suspect it integrates fine. Never had one older than 15 years.

I tend to invest in Montevertine Pergole Torte (although a less likeable producer IMHO) on the higher end of Chianti…but will not hesitate to snag a bottle of Isole Olena Chianti Classico (or Vin Santo) when given the chance.


The '13 hasn’t yet hit my local store, but I will be on the look out for it; thanks

never tried the Syrah, but had the 2006 Collegione Cabernet Sauvignon earlier this year and it was fantastic; a wonderful expression of CS; will check out the Syrah

Asher and Jim,
completely agree with you guys on the '11 vintage in Italy; everything I’ve had so far has been wonderful; thought it was just me; glad to hear you’ve shared similar experiences

thanks Andy;
I’m headed back to pick up some more of the '11

thanks for your comments; I’m glad to hear that they are wonderful people; makes supporting them feel even better
love the Pergole Torte; a rock star in my book

Paulo Di Marchese was in London this weekend, and we attended his masterclass organised by Decanter. We tried his 2012 Chardonnay, 2012 and 2010 Chianti Classico and six vintages of Ceperello: 12, 10, 6, 4, 3 and 90.

He is an eccentric fellow but I was really underwhelmed by, and bitterly disappointed with, his wines. Most were quite simple, one dimensional and didn’t finish particularly well. I was surprised by the lack of complexity compared to some modern Brunellos.