Bolgheri Rosso is a refined, irresistible blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, serving as an introduction to the estate. The wine is, frankly, almost too good at the price. All the intensive artisanal work that Le Macchiole carries out in its vineyards and cellars benefits this wine, and despite more availability than its Paleo Rosso, Messorio and Scrio siblings, it sells out nearly as quickly.
Bolgheri Rossi is also the youngest of Le Macchiole’s wines. First bottled in 2004, this wine is the purest and most unadulterated expression of Bolgheri for Le Macchiole. It is a red that possesses grace and intensity and that is eminently drinkable without compromising structure and complexity.
In 2017, as every year, harvesting exactly at the right ripeness stage of each grape variety is the challenge that the winery faces in order to make an extremely easy-drinking Bolgheri Rosso.
The first Merlot grapes gave a fresh starting point and an assertive tannic texture, whereas the less dense yet very complex Syrah grapes gave spicy black pepper and red fruit notes and, above all, good acidity. The Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon grapes enjoyed a longer ripening cycle, which contributed to the wine’s body and complexity on the finish.
The wine is fermented for 15 days in stainless steel tanks and then aged for 10 months in a combination of oak and concrete (80% in second and third passage barrique and 20% in concrete).
Intense fresh fruity notes on the nose and a slimmer texture, with firm yet very gentle tannins and an acid backbone that brings an amazing balance to the wine.
Le Macchiole can best be defined as the “Boutique Bolgheri.” The winery is known for its spectacular single-varietal wines, and their signature grape varieties are Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc and work is always conducted with the priority being “the expression of the land.” The winery continues to evolve in both the vineyards and in the cellar to allow the soil characteristics from this estate property to be the defining identity in the wines.
Today, Bolgheri is among Italy’s most famed wine producing regions, but this seemed far from a possibility in 1983, the year Le Macchiole was founded and a time when the area was known simply for a close proximity to the sea and having abundant fruit and grain agriculture. Yet, two natives of Bolgheri, Eugenio Campolmi and Cinzia Merli, were devoted to the idea of vine growing in their home region even when it was not considered a viable way to start a living.
As they cultivated and learned the possibilities for their land, Le Macchiole’s philosophy became to interpret their territory through single-variety wines, beginning with the 1994 vintage. This was an unusual, perhaps daring, plan for a winery of the region to commit to at the time; any known wines from Bolgheri were a result of the strong belief in blending varieties. The idea took shape gradually over years of tireless experimentation by Eugenio, Cinzia and with the help of Luca d’Attoma, the winery’s long time consulting enologist, who began working with Le Macchiole in 1991. Ultimately, vinifying separate varieties has been extremely successful for the winery, allowing the wines of Le Macchiole to demonstrate the potential of terroir in Bolgheri differently.
The winery continues to evolve in both the vineyards and in the cellar to allow the soil characteristics from this estate property to be the defining identity in the wines.
MONICA LARNER - WINE ADVOCATE
As usual, Le Macchiole has done a great job with all of its releases, including the lower-end bottles such as the 2017 Bolgheri Rosso. There is a sure sense of precision and sharpness here with bright berry and black cherry. Those aromas show quality and craftsmanship. You would do well to pair this accessible, mid-weight wine with simple pasta topped with fresh tomato sauce.