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Le Macchiole Paleo 2005

Cabernet Franc from Tuscany, Italy
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14% ABV
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4.1 8 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
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.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
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.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.

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Le Macchiole

Le Macchiole

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Le Macchiole, Tuscany, Italy
2005 Paleo
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.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese.

Cabernet Franc

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The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon and shares many of the structural elements of Bordeaux’s cornerstone variety. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc is often planted as an insurance policy against its later-ripening offspring, as it is more likely to thrive in a difficult harvest. But don’t mistake Cabernet Franc for merely a supporting player—this grape variety produces outstanding wines on its own or as the dominant component of a blend. It produces perhaps its most alluring wines in France’s Loire Valley, in the regions of Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur-Champigny, where brighter, riper wines can be achieved. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc has performed quite well in parts of California, New York, and Virginia.

In the Glass

Paler, lighter, crisper, softer, and much more aromatic than its progeny, Cabernet Franc typically tastes of red raspberries, cherries, and herbs, with a stunning perfume of violets, tobacco, and spice.

Perfect Pairings

Mouthwatering acidity makes Cabernet Franc an incredibly food-friendly wine, helping to cut through the richness of fatty meat dishes. It especially shines in tandem with lamb, and its affinity for the spice cabinet allows it to pair perfectly with Chinese dishes prepared with Szechuan pepper and five-spice.

Sommelier Secrets

Under-ripe Cabernet Franc can be leafy and green with harsh tannins and mouth-searing acidity, so it is best to avoid highly spiced curries and fiery chili dishes.

LATPALEO_2005 Item# 99244

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