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.
"Moderately saturated ruby. Cassis, plum and milk chocolate on the nose, lifted by a floral perfume. Sweet, dense and youthfully unevolved, with classic cabernet flavors of dark berries, graphite, and a touch of cedar. Broadens out impressively on the back end and shows increasing sweetness of fruit with extended aeration." -International Wine Cellar
Le Macchiole Winery
Long before it was fashionable, Eugenio Campolmi saw the potential of his homeland, buying his first vineyard in Bolgheri in 1975 baptised "Le Macchiole". In 1987, he hired famed oenologist Vittorio Fiore as a consultant before the later was joined by Luca d'Attoma for years later. In contrast to his renowned neighbors who focused on Bordeaux blends, Campolmi focused on achieving the purest expression of individual varieties, crafting distinct wines of unprecedented quality. Soon Le Macchiole joined Sassicaia, Ornellaia, and Guado al Tasso as one of the most prestigious estates in Bolgheri. Following Eugenio's death in 2002, his wife Cinzia Merli, who shares her husband's passion, took over at the estate. Working with Luca D'Attoma, she has carried on her husband's legacy by continuing to make great Tuscan wines.
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One of the most important wine regions in Italy, Tuscany is home to the cities of Florence and Siena, the districts of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, and the wineries of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Ornellaia. Tuscany is also home to the indigenous Italian grape variety, Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
The most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the
1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass
of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.