Vino amore. Yes, when getting to know these Italian wines it was really love at first sip. Le Macchiole is one of the historic wineries in Bolgheri that over the years has become a reference point for quality Tuscan wine. When I read Bolgheri on the bottle, I immediately have such a curious, suspicious feeling, like when I think of Batistuta in a Florence jersey. Founders Eugenio Campolmi and Cinzia Merli were among the pioneers of the region and contributed significantly to the growing fame of Bolgheri, thanks to their work in producing wines full of character and personality that have become a symbol of the region.
Today Cinzia manages the winery with the indispensable support of her sons Elia and Mattia. They and the team have become one big family that never stops surprising themselves and each other, coming around the corner with new ideas. Even with wine, you can never stand still. For this, Le Macchiole relies on a careful, contemporary reading of wine and terroir. In other words, the soil should take over the reins. After all, it is precisely the composition that makes up the character of this corner of Italy. Each grape variety can be interpreted differently depending on the soil.
The team behind the Le Macchiole wine measure collection: Cinzia Merli and her sons Elia and Mattia.
Le macchiole or: tailored glass pleasure for wine adventurers
Cinzia and her team stands by the conviction of organic farming and an increasingly sustainable approach. Wine and fashion are quite similar. It’s about a style of its own. Le Macchiole wants to combine sophistication and elegance here. And: authenticity and personality have become the defining characteristics. No wonder that the wines I was allowed to taste were impressively tailor-made fruit salad. In the glass came with me two wine series, the Bolgheri Rosso and the Paleo.
The Bolgheri Rosso is a more accessible wine in terms of price (average 22 euros), but still fine, elegant and of extreme quality. This is real Champions League already at the entry of the wine varietal team of Le Macchiole. The Paleo Rosso (90 euros) is Le Macchiole’s iconic wine, the perfect gift for that special person who shares your taste in wine, for your dad, to toast with the family at Christmas, for special moments. I like that Cinzia Merli and her sons Elia and Mattia, with organic farming, fill their region in liquid dress codes as elegant as charming.
Wine tip 1: Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso
First bottled in 2004, Bolgheri Rosso is arguably the purest and most unadulterated expression of Bolgheri for Le Macchiole. I had the pleasure of tasting the 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 vintages. Made from 50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, the Bolgheri Rosso (2018 in this case) snuggled up with the wood barrel, was finished in a concrete tank and is a real red wine flirt, redolent of Parma ham and dark fruits, finely woven like cashmere. For a wine starting at 20 euros, the vine suit may already be more finely tailored and the invitation transforms the Bolgheri Rosso elegant like Andrea Pirlo a direct pass. Very straightforward and classy at first sip, then lightly peppery on the tongue, plus a dash of currant. Wow.
Bolgheri Rosso is a prime example of an Italian wine that is easy to drink in an elegant, casual outfit.
Offers cozy as well as straightforward indulgence: the Bolgheri Rosso makes especially beginners want more.
The more air, the more charm, not a glittery wine, but one that reflects on perfect fabric quality, but with an authentic, unexcited touch, like an outfit by Brunello Cucinelli. It is essential to drink it at least in pairs, but flirting alone is really bad. In the end, it can be said that with each vintage back, that is, the older the Bolgheri Rosso were, added more temperament, even more warmth and pinch of spice. But everything always had the same elegant, finesse-rich signature. In the end, a wine should invite you to drink it, and this invitation can never be resisted with Bolgheri Rosso.
Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso, Price starting at around 20 Euro, seen on www.superiore.de/wein/toskana-bolgheri/le-macchiole
Interview with winemaker Cinzia Merli
How would you describe the fascination with wine for you?
Making wine is magic. In fact we have the possibility to take part to a natural process. From the vineyards to the wine, following and not forcing what happens in nature, we have the possibility to create emotions.
How would you describe your job and what do you like most about it?
I believe it is one of the most beautiful jobs of the world because it has different facetings. We have the opportunity to live in nature spending our days in the vineyards; we have the possibility to create something producing wines that represents a territory; we have the possibility to travel and to get to know new people every day. I don’t know what I should ask more from life!
Can you remember your first encounter with wine?
I discovered wine when I met my husband. I was very young and I had no experience nor familiarity with this world. Thanks to him I had the possibility to travel and discover many fascinating realities and I learned to love this world.
From the very first harvest to the latest vintages, the philosophy has not changed, but is in constant evolution.
Art at work. The winery Le Macchiole.
What role do you think social media plays for wines like yours?
I am convinced that social media can be a great support for wines like ours, but it cannot be the only aspect to rely on.
After all, you also care that wines can tell their story.
First of all, I believe that every wine should tell something about the territory where it was born, about the particular soil, the climate. We don’t like to force the result, we just help our wines to express what Bolgheri is.
The grapes for Bolgheri Rosso are harvested from mid-August to mid-September.
Even the wine cellar and here the stainless steel tanks exude grandezza. The gray-red combination is also really classy.
The history of Le Macchiole is completely linked to its vineyards. From the beginning, extreme attention was paid to the land and time served to increase the understanding of how nature can direct the creation of an excellent wine. Strict rules of occupation are applied. The winery works only with its own grapes, which come from vineyards carefully selected over the years. Today, there are a total of 64 hectares located in different areas of the appellation. The different small plots with unique qualities bring different nuances to the wines. The bringing together of these characteristics is what year after year makes the style of Le Macchiole.
Wine tip 2: Le Macchiole Paleo 2017
First produced in 1989, this truly incredible wine is the symbol of the winery and embodies the Bolgheri region in every fiber. Initially, the wine was a classic Bordeaux blend, but in 2001 it became a Cabernet Franc-alone and has been a great success ever since. The name “Paleo” refers to a wild herb found on the Tuscan coast, symbolizing a strong local identity and a determination to achieve all goals. One thing in advance: the Paleo is like a multilayered thriller with many twist and strong characters. You have to get involved, put down your smartphone and just enjoy the moments of suspense that come your way. I like wines that remind me of Mediterranean herbs among all the red fruits. There’s just something about wanderlust, summer, being far away from it all. If Paleo were a film, the camera would probably first glide through the gently bobbing water of a ruby-red pool, briefly under water, then up again. Then this red wine also takes you on a chase through a market hall in the Italian village, where the glass scurries between mint, white pepper, blackberries and pomegranates, elegant hooks, changes of direction, sometimes loud, sometimes quieter. Catch your breath briefly, then the wine journey picks up speed again.
Le Macchiole Paleo 2017, Price: around, seen on www.superiore.de/paleo
Straightforward yet full of finesse: the iconic Paleo from Le Macchiole.
I like wines like the Paleo that simply show what is possible in a glass – yes, of course, the ticket requires a certain budget, and the exceptional wine is best enjoyed with people who share your taste in wine. Because you have to: talk about such a conversation piece. Mind you: after you’ve had a proper sip. Because for all the attention to detail, for all the finesse when it comes to the climax: In the end, it should also be fun. We don’t want to make a doctoral thesis out of it, but discover the way of making wine.
Wines to frame. At Le Macchiole, the prospects for this are excellent.
As with fashion, quality with details comes from long learned handwork.
This is why Le Macchiole must be on your wine shopping list
All the wines I tasted here immediately flashed me. This was mainly due to the unagitated elegance. When wines flow so finely, as if you have a good suit in your hand, but at the same time are anything but a diva, but take you on a journey of aromas, then they are fun. If you are curious about Italian wines that are not off the shelf, you should take a closer look here. For beginners, the 20 euro mark may be a small mental hurdle, but here you can taste the craftmanship and especially the idea of the winemakers. And those who are looking for the great adventure, already have the one or other wine tasting stage behind them and want to get involved in a film-ready glass, are welcome to ask for a date with the Paleo.
All further information about the winery can be found at www.lemacchiole.it/en