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Professional Ratings: 95 Wine & Spirits, 93 Wine Spectator, 93 The Wine Advocate
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Alcohol By Volume: 14%
Item no. 99244
Named for the vineyard of its provenance, Paleo Rosso is the flagship wine for Le Macchiole and was the first wine in Bolgheri to made entirely from Cabernet Franc. Ruby red with violet flecks, its red fruit aroma offers notes of yellow and black pepper, tobacco, and nutmeg. Clean on the palate, it finishes with elegant minerality, ripe fruit, and a hint of balsamic.
Cabernet franc seems so well adapted to the soils at Le Macchiole that it’s impossible to separate the land from the grape. Grown in a mix of limestone and chalk, with rocks, sand and clay, this '05 seamlessly combines savory, ferrous tannins with fresh black-and blueberry flavors. It’s cool and dark when first poured, that darkness offset by high notes of fresh mint. With air it becomes full and broad, the coolness a textural component that feels like silk pulled tightly across a sheet of iron. It’s a beautiful wine, with abundant complexity and flawless integration.
Decadent aromas of berries, meat and earth follow through to a full body, with velvety, rich tannins, a long, flavorful finish and a coconut and berry aftertaste. Impressive. Cabernet Franc. Best after 2011. 2,000 cases made.
The 2005 Paleo (Cabernet Franc) is impressive. Wild herbs, roasted coffee beans, new leather, minerals and dark fruit emerge from this long, refined wine. Although the intensity tapers off slightly on the mid-palate, this is an absolutely gorgeous wine loaded with style and personality. Still tightly wound, it needs further bottle age to reach its peak. It is arguably the most successful of the estate's 2005s. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2017.
Le Macchiole releases its wines later than most estates on the Tuscan coast, so readers will find the 2004s in the market, while the 2005s are due to arrive this Fall. Proprietor Cinzia Merli and long-time oenologist Luca D-Attoma have turned out a glorious set of 2004s. The 2005 vintage proved to be much more challenging as the damp, fresh growing season made it hard to achieve full ripeness. These are pretty wines, but they aren't quite at the level of the estate's finest efforts.