Le Macchiole, “Paleo Rosso” Toscana IGT 2013 (about $92)

Italian Wine for august, 2019

Le Macchiole is a small but historic winery located in the Bolgheri DOC in Maremma on the Tuscan coast. Established in 1983 with an initial 10 acres of vineyards (the same year that the Bolgheri appellation was awarded DOC status) it today consists of 64 acres spread over several carefully-cultivated vineyard parcels in the surrounding countryside that Le Macchiole’s website describes as "a mosaic of vineyards".

Like many producers in the Bolgheri appellation Le Macchiole grows primarily Bordeaux-style varieties – Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon – as well as Syrah and some Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. However, while Bordeaux wines are blended wines, Le Macchiole is known primarily for its single-variety wines made exclusively from Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. These elegant and polished wines have achieved near-cult status among wine enthusiasts and each vintage is eagerly snapped up by buyers around the world.

One such wine is Le Macchiole’s “Paleo Rosso” Toscana IGT wine. Made entirely of estate-grown Cabernet Franc 2013 Le Macchiole "Paleo Rosso" Toscana IGT from Bolgheri, Italygrapes it is Italy’s premier expression of this variety. First produced as a Bordeaux-style blend in 1989, it was fine-tuned in its initial years and by 1993 evolved into its current format of 100 percent Cabernet Franc - and has been winning awards ever since.

2013 was a great vintage in the Bolgheri appellation, one in an uninterrupted decade-long string of such vintages. The Cabernet Franc grapes are hand-selected from several estate vineyards with each vineyard separately picked depending on the maturity of the vineyard’s grapes. The grapes are fermented for a month in concrete vats and aged for 20 months in 70 percent new and 30 percent 2nd-use French oak barriques.

The 2013 Paleo Rosso is an extraordinary wine with rich black fruit flavors, elegant tannins and sweet spice aromas that evince the wine’s Cabernet Franc pedigree. It’s full and velvety with authoritative and deep blackberry flavors shaped by a touch of cassis and oak-sourced spice notes. This deeply-colored wine is full-bodied, concentrated and structured with serious but polished tannins and a long exuberant finish. It has an invigorating 15 percent alcohol and enviable potential for long-term ageing.

All in all, it’s a beautiful wine of great character and complexity. Le Macchiole’s Paleo Rosso wines have been serial recipients of Gambero Rosso’s coveted Tre Bicchieri (“Three Glasses) award and the 2013 is no exception and received a Tre Bicchieri award on its release in 2016.


©Richard Marcis
July 28, 2019

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