|~ Paolo di Marchi - Owner & Winemaker of Isole e Olena ~|
I've known Paolo di Marchi for years so I am keenly aware of his passion and intelligence as a winemaker. He looks much wiser these days, as he did the last time I saw him this past January at Slow Wine. When I tasted his 2009 Cepparello there it astounded me and I was not surprised. I own many vintages of the wine and it is consistently one of the best pure Sangiovese I encounter.
I recently acquired several bottles of the 2010 Cepparello which, given di Marchi's skilled hand and the breeding of the 2010 vintage, should be superb. I was tempted to sacrifice one at this nascent stage for the benefit of mankind.
Cepparello is 100% Sangiovese that is hand selected from the best and oldest plots on his estate. The wine gets it's named for a small stream that originates on the estate. I've tasted every vintage since 1993 and given how great the 2009 was, 2010 had big shoes to fill.
The 2010 Cepparello is deep violet in the glass with pretty reflections. With vigorous swirling I was able to coax freshly crushed berries, flowers and sweet earth from the glass. There is no question, the wine is slumbering. On the palate, the core of crushed wild berry fruit seems evident but it appears somewhat lean at the moment. The finish is shortened by the significant tannins - they're ripe, but they're there in spades. The balance is accentuated by high toned refreshing acidity and there is some spice, pepper and anise on the finish. Clearly the pieces are here, but they're disjointed at the moment and this one will require patience. Cepparello ages in barriques for 18 months, but only 1/3 of the barrels are new, while the balance are seeing their 1st and 2nd passage.
Based on my past experience and judgement, I'm recommending a "buy" here, along with patience that I suspect will be richly rewarded. Above $52.
|~ The 2010 Cepparello: A Slumbering Giant ~|