Paolo di Marchi is one of my favorite winemakers I have had the pleasure of meeting in my entire wine career. I have sold his wines for a couple of decades at least, first the fantastic Isole Olena wines from their estate in Tuscany, and now the exciting new project for the next generation (his son Lucca runs it) in Lessona. He was one of the very first winemakers to visit the new store when we opened in Bernardsville, and we have wined, dined and shared great stories and a wine philosophy of respect for the terroir and natural winemaking many times both here and in Italy.
The family bought the estate in 1960's, putting two properties together, Isole and Olena. At the time, the dynamic was quite different than todays Tuscany. Sharecroppers picked grapes and wheat, with wheat bringing in the better price! These were the days of cheap Chianti in the basket, and you have to give the Marchi family credit for having the vision and foresight to imagine where Tuscany and its wines would go in the intervening 40 years.They meticulously worked and improved the vineyards, improved winemaking and became committed to the ideal of classic, true to the place Tuscan wines. Paolo is an icon among winemakers for what he has accomplished here, and the wines are known by true connoisseurs as some of the very best in the region.
Considering that most top "Super Tuscans" sell for $100 or more, this is a true steal at almost half its competitor's price! Add to that the string of very good vintages, in particular the great 2006, and you have a very compelling reason to stock in the fantastic Cepparello from this world class estate!
Cepparello, a 100% pure Sangiovese from the heart of the Chianti Classico area, is quintessential Tuscan wine. Paolo De Marchi has established a new standard for Sangiovese-based wines by assembling the very best of his fruit, grown on the high hill of San Donato in Poggio, and vinifying it for fourteen months in small barrels, one third of which new. The result is of stunning complexity and even if very approachable young, definitely worth ageing. The 2006 is complex, elegant, and stylish, beautiful aromatics, with incredible sense of purity, length and fine boned structure. Accessible now, but best from 2010-2015+ this is a must for any serious lover of great Sangiovese.