Paleo Rosso 2019
Paleo Rosso has been called Italy’s landmark expression of Cabernet Franc. This grape variety is growing internationally as a distinct bottling, but Bolgheri has proven to be the single best place in the world to do so. The Mediterranean climate and surroundings result in a wine of extraordinarily expressive, sensual, and textural fruits and savory spices.
Paleo Rosso is sourced from three of the estate’s five vineyards: Casa Nuova, Vignone and Madonnina. Vines are planted in two training systems, Double cordon and single guyot.
The 100% Cabernet Franc is macerated and fermented for 20 days in concrete tanks, and subsequently aged for 18 months in oak barrels with 75% new and 25% second passage. The wine is further aged in bottle for 16 months before release.
2019 was a vintage with slow and very long ripening and with no excessive heat peaks. The beginning of the year was characterized by a winter with temperatures in line with the season, low rainfall, and a particularly dry climate, except for a slight spike in humidity towards the last week of January, conditions which led to poor development of green manure. The spring season was fluctuating, characterized by a particularly cold climate in the last two weeks of March, with a steady increase in temperatures throughout the month of April, which contributed to a slow and gradual sprout development. In May, low temperatures, and a substantial increase in rainfall, led to a sharp slowdown in the plants’ vegetative development. A particularly hot and dry climate at the beginning of June, combined with the heavy rains of the previous month, contributed to a flourishing shoot development on the plants resulting in clusters that required repeated and targeted green management intervention for the entire summer period. The harvest period started slightly later than in previous years, with the harvest of white grapes in the fourth week of August and then continued with the Merlot grapes between the first and third week of September, along with the Syrah grapes, and concluded with the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties between the fourth week of September and the first ten days of October.
Suggested Retail Price
Wine Enthusiast - June 26, 2023 *CELLAR SELECTION* "A gripping high-wire act of balance and integration, with a nose of cedar chips, wild herbs, black pepper, bergamot and underbrush and a palate of bing cherry, mixed berries, soy sauce and licorice candy. Tannins that feel like a firm guiding hand and an acidic heat that simmers underneath come together for a showstopper." —D.C 2/2023
Wine Advocate - June 26, 2023 "The Le Macchiole 2019 Paleo reveals an extremely precise and etched personality that is perfectly suited to this classic vintage. If you love Cabernet Franc, this is your wine. The bouquet is linear and tight with wet gravel, lead pencil and graphite that make an elegant frame around blackberry and black plum. You taste every last miniature detail in this complex and powerful expression. Fruit comes from a 5.5-hectare plot that rises from 37 to 70 meters above sea level. The soils are a mix of clay, sand, silt, stone and limestone that is characteristic of this stretch of Tuscan coastline. The wine is fermented in cement and aged in barrique for 20 months. On second nose, Paleo begins to offer cardamom pod, exotic spice and fragrant rose water." —M.L 7/2022
Wine & Spirits - June 26, 2023 "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. 4/2023
Other Wines by this Producer
First produced in 1991, Paleo Bianco is a silky, mineral-driven blend of Chardonnay (90%) and Sauvignon Blanc (10%). Perfect for pairing with seafood, this white is well suited to a medium to long aging in bottle.
Bolgheri Rosso is a refined, irresistible blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, serving as an introduction to the estate. The wine is, frankly, almost too good at the price. All the intensive artisanal work that Le Macchiole carries out in its vineyards and cellars benefits this wine, and despite more availability than its Paleo Rosso, Messorio and Scrio siblings, it sells out nearly as quickly.
Scrio was born in 1994, out of Eugenio Campolmi’s wish to produce a wine which would best express his vision of Syrah, his favorite grape variety. As all Le Macchiole wines, Scrio has an original personality and stands apart from Syrah grown in France or anywhere else – it is an extraordinarily compelling meld of deep and velvety Mediterranean fruit with cool climate aromatics and detail. Given the extremely limited production, Scrio is decidedly a hidden gem.
Messorio, a Merlot monovarietal, is the winery’s crown jewel. Its initial vintage was 1994, and since then it has received extraordinary acclaim, including a 100-point score from the Wine Spectator for the 2004 vintage. The name Messorio refers to the ancient Tuscan practice of wheat harvesting, the most important time of the year in the Bolgheri countryside – once it referred to wheat; these days, it is all about grape harvesting.