Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso Bolgheri [Pre-arrival] 2017
WA97+: The Three Graces of Le Macchiole are Messorio, Scrio and Paleo (Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc, respectively). Of these three top-tier releases, my favorite is the 2017 Paleo. This is an upright and direct expression of the grape that carefully sheds some dusty or mineral aromas before opening the way for determined black fruit, charred meat, spice and cured tobacco or cigar. There is quite a bit of oak, but it works beautifully against the natural intensity and rich concentration of the hot vintage. More unexpected are those pretty tones of lilac, blue flower and aniseed that add to the detailed rendering and complexity of the bouquet. This wine won my heart.
VM96: The 2017 Paleo Rosso is superb. It is also the wine in this range that seems to have handled the rigors of 2017 best. Then again, that is the magic of Cabernet Franc on the Tuscan Coast. The aromatics alone are so alluring. Sweet pipe tobacco, mocha, dried flowers, mint, sage and cedar give Paleo its aromatic lift. Some varietal character has been baked out because of the heat of the year. In exchange, readers will find a Paleo Rosso that will drink well with just a year or two in bottle. The 2017 was fermented in cement and aged for 14 months in French oak barrels, 90% new with light toast.