Isole e Olena, 'Cepparello' 2017
The name 'Isole e Olena' came about in the 1950s when two adjoining estates, 'Isole' and 'Olena', were purchased by the De Marchi family and combined to form one. The history of both estates dates back many hundreds of years, and the earliest documentation of the village of Olena goes as far back as the 12th century. During the 1950s, the De Marchi family planted specialised vineyards and expanded the cellars. Today, the estate is run by Paolo De Marchi and his wife Marta. Paolo comes from a family with three generations of winemaking experience in the northern part of Piemonte and his older son, Luca, now runs the family estate there, Proprietà Sperino.
The grapes for Cepparello come from the best sites on the estates. Situated 400 metres above sea level, facing south-west, soils are primarily galestro, a schistous clay. The name Cepparello is taken from an old stream, Borro Cepparello, originating in the highest point of the vineyards on the Isole e Olena estate.
During winter the weather was good, with very little rain and slightly lower than usual average temperatures that helped to combat insect infestations that can damage the vines. Spring was marked by early bud burst, while the frosts that hit various Italian regions did not adversely affect the vegetation. The summer saw sunny days and constant breezes. Early July was marked by relatively elevated humidity for the coastal area. The first significant rainfall occurred in mid-September, followed again by warm, bright days, which created the ideal conditions for a healthy harvest.
After crushing, the must fermented on the skins in oak vats for about three weeks at 30-32°C, with délestage and pumping over carried out twice a day to give good colour and soft tannins. The maceration tank was emptied of the fermenting must, the cap was dried out for 4-5 hours and then the must was poured back over the cap. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was racked into barrels. It was 100% barrel-aged, a third in new French and American oak (with American barrels making up 5% of the total), a third in one year old oak and the remaining third was put into two year old oak. The wine remained in barrel for 20 months and then matured in bottle for one year before release.
Bright ruby red in colour, Cepparello has aromas of red fruits and cherries on the nose along with a touch of spice from the well- judged use of oak. The palate opens to ripe fruit and the well- balanced structure of a great Cepparello, as well as elegant, soft tannins and a persistent finish.