2017 Le Macchiole 'Paleo Rosso' Bolgheri

(Net Item - no discounts apply)

This wine began as a classic Bordeaux blend but, over time, found it could reach greater heights solely as a Cabernet Franc. Like a tree expertly trimmed to let in more light, it blossomed into perfection without excess and has become a solid favorite at Bounty Hunter. 2017 was a hot, dry year and the natural intensity is carved into this bottle from the mineral-laced opening through the black fruit and charred meat mid-palate. It finds delicacy in lilac tones, like spring blossoms on ancient wood, but this baby could use a little more time in the cradle before it’s truly ready to rise and shine.

Le Macchiole [MOCK-E-ol-eh] is one of the greatest producers in Tuscany’s Bolgheri zone, which is similar to the Napa Valley in its climate and style of wines. Just down the road from Sassicaia and Ornellaia, Le Macchiole was founded in 1983 by Eugenio Campolmi and Cinzia Merli, both natives of Bolgheri. Eugenio passed away some years ago, and today Cinzia still runs the domaine. It is no overstatement to say that the wines of Macchiole are some of the finest wines produced in Bolgheri, but in all of Italy. They simply have it all: Perfume, grace, purity, balance, and POWER. They define “great stuff,” our entire modus operandi. A mixed case of these wines would be such a great play for your cellar. If you’re not yet hip to Macchiole, these are the kinds of wines that will have you calling to thank us for the recommendation for years to come.

Cabernet Franc
18 months
Oak Treatment:
new oak barriques
Total Varietal Composition %:
100% Cabernet Franc
SKU #:
750 ml Bottle

Wine Advocate

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.