Robert Parker 97
You could argue that this wine changed Italian wine, because it was the first to fully embrace the potential of Cabernet Franc in the bel paese. The Le Macchiole 2018 Paleo has a spicy and tangy personality with dark fruit, bitter chocolate and tarry smoke. Coming back to my open bottle 24 hours later, I got some green olive and rosemary essence. The mouthfeel fleshes out considerably, and there is beautiful structure to hold it firmly together. Other vintners in Bolgheri have told me of their difficulties with Cabernet Franc in the 2018 vintage, which saw rain toward the end of the season. This wine feels magically immune to those issues and probably means that the expert vineyard team harvested at the right moment.
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2045
Le Macchiole’s 2018 Paleo Rosso is an unbelievably beautiful wine. It is also very young. The aromatics are total seduction, but otherwise the 2018 is quite reticent. Bright floral notes and red-toned fruit give the 2018 considerable energy and verve as varietal Franc aromas and flavors start to take shape over time. Readers will have to be patient. The 2018 needs at least a few years in bottle to fully blossom. Even so, it is pretty appealing today.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2048