Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso 2016 (97 W&S)
“A benchmark cabernet franc from Bolgheri since it was first bottled as a single-variety wine in the 2001 vintage, Paleo knocked it out of the park in 2016. Moderate temperatures, cool evenings and rain at opportune moments yielded a wine with perfectly ripe flavors of plum and black cherry that crackle with energy. The wine shows varietal hallmarks of graphite, tobacco leaf and black pepper, even as the rich fruit tones and wild-thyme notes recall Bolgheri’s sun-soaked coast. Seamless, with lively acidity and a long, vertical finish, this is a vintage to seek out for your cellar, or to look for on top Italian wine lists.” – S.J.
Paleo Rosso has been called Italy’s landmark expression of Cabernet Franc. It is named for a type of local wild grass, which once covered the land where its vines are now planted. Originally a blend of several different varieties, the wine has been made from 100% Cabernet Franc since 2001, and was the first mono varietal Cabernet Franc to be produced in Bolgheri. The grapes come from several vineyards on the estate, including Vignone, Madonnina, Puntone and Casa Nuova. Each vineyard is picked separately, and fruit from the same vineyard is often picked more than once at different stages of maturity, resulting in about 20 different pickings.
Le Macchiole can best be defined as the “Boutique Bolgheri.” The winery is known for its spectacular single-varietal wines, and their signature grape varieties are Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc and work is always conducted with the priority being "the expression of the land." The winery continues to evolve in both the vineyards and in the cellar to allow the soil characteristics from this estate property to be the defining identity in the wines.