This is the sole guiding principle under which Cinzi Merli and her husband founded Le Macchiole.
This constant, as she explains, is a “fine line which links every act of our lives. It is represented by the passion for our land, which led us to grow our vineyard and make the absolute best wine that we can.”
Since its genesis in 1983, Le Macchiole has garnered well earned heaps of praise from critics and wine lovers alike. Tre Bicchieri awards are routine and the estate’s top two wines, Scrio and Messorio, have each received 100 point scores from various publications. The subject of today’s article isn’t far behind.
Since 2002 the winery has been practicing organic agriculture. Then, beginning with the 2010 harvest, biodynamic practices were embraced. In 1983, at the time Merli’s late husband purchased the initial land holdings near Castagneto Carducci, the vineyards covered slightly less than 10 acres. As a result, the wine-making team was somewhat limited in their capacity and ability to experiment.
Since then, careful and thoughtful analysis has been undertaken and the vineyards have been scrupulously expanded to approximately 64 acres. Production has increased slightly as vineyards mature and new blends have emerged. To that point, when it was created, Paleo was a blended wine. Today, it is pure Cabernet Franc.
The 2016 Le Macchiole Paleo is deep, dark purple in the glass that expands ever faintly to a violet hue at the edge of the bowl. Immediately upon pouring, the aromas leap from the glass. Black fruits, lavender, lilac, mint and wet stones are utterly spell binding.
On the palate, the wine is sexy, sexy, sexy. It is dripping with smooth, silky viscous black fruit flavor. There are no hard edges. Yes, there are tannins present, but they are velvety and dusty. Flavors of coffee, toasted nuts, mint and black licorice are fresh and persistent. Nothing is out of balance. Sadly, I bought the last two bottles the merchant had. I’d clean them out again if I could.
Paleo is 100% Cabernet Franc that is fermented in concrete tanks and sourced from vineyards varying from 11-26 years of age. After fermentation it is aged for 19 months in new French barrique. 97 points. About $69. Find this wine.
Pricing varies widely so search around.