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Le Macchiole Messorio 2002

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
  • RP94
14% ABV
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  • WS94
  • RP94
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  • RP95
  • W&S93
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Messorio is widely considered to be one of Bolgheri's, if not Italy's, most outstanding renditions of pure Merlot. Intense ruby red with violet notes, tremendous ripe berry fruit on the nose with hints of pepper, spice, vanilla and voluptuous in body, with jammy red fruit exotic innuendos, and smooth tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2002 is one of the revelations in this tasting. It is a delicate Messorio with more than a passing resemblance to Pinot Noir in its elegant and expressive bouquet. All of the typical Messorio aromas and flavors are there, but in a small-scaled, hushed style of the vintage. Roasted coffee beans, herbs and licorice linger on the finish. The 2002 will never be a blockbuster, but it is one of those wines that will surprise for its balance and sublime elegance when it is opened years from now. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.
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Le Macchiole

Le Macchiole

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Le Macchiole, Tuscany, Italy
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Long before it was fashionable, Eugenio Campolmi saw the potential of his homeland, buying his first vineyard in Bolgheri in 1975 baptised "Le Macchiole". In 1987, he hired famed oenologist Vittorio Fiore as a consultant before the later was joined by Luca d'Attoma for years later. In contrast to his renowned neighbors who focused on Bordeaux blends, Campolmi focused on achieving the purest expression of individual varieties, crafting distinct wines of unprecedented quality. Soon Le Macchiole joined Sassicaia, Ornellaia, and Guado al Tasso as one of the most prestigious estates in Bolgheri. Following Eugenio's death in 2002, his wife Cinzia Merli, who shares her husband's passion, took over at the estate. Working with Luca D'Attoma, she has carried on her husband's legacy by continuing to make great Tuscan wines.

One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.

FBR105153_2002 Item# 114074