Messorio, a Merlot monovarietal, is the winery’s crown jewel. Its initial vintage was 1994, and since then it has received extraordinary acclaim, including a 100-point score from the Wine Spectator for the 2004 vintage. The name Messorio refers to the ancient Tuscan practice of wheat harvesting, the most important time of the year in the Bolgheri countryside – once it referred to wheat; these days, it is all about grape harvesting.
The fruit for Messorio was sourced from the Vignone estate parcel. Yields are managed tightly through the use of low vigor rootstocks and drastic thinning of clusters.
After sorting and destemming, 1/3 of the grapes were vinified in concrete vats and the remaining part in steel. A regular fermentation process, long macerations, frequent pumping over and manual punching down and some quick cold soaks in the last few days gave a sweet-smelling and fresh wine, with noble and mouthfilling tannins and excellent complexity on the palate. In late October the wine was left to age in wood oak barriques for 20 months, followed by 20 months in bottle.
2016 was definitely one of the smoothest years of the past decade. The season passed with no extreme weather conditions at all and the rain seemed to fall when the vines most needed it: abundant in March, normal in May and June, heavy in late July and warm and sunny weather from August to mid-September. Optimum temperatures as well: a mild late winter season which was cause for concern, but then the basically cool spring slowed down the plants growth cycle that benefited from the warm but not scorching summer, with large night-day temperature swings.
Vineyard canopy management aimed at lightening the foliage by removing the secondary shoots if necessary and extending the non-topped areas by performing the so-called accapannatura (long shoots twisted on the top wires) to leave the plant free to grow while preventing the excessive production of side shoots.
The soils were repeatedly worked to balance the heat/humidity relationship in order to make the flowering and berry set stages easier. The growth of the bunches proceeded at a regular pace, the production was excellent and the ripeness perfect.
Wine Advocate - February 11, 2020 "This expression of Merlot is explosive and profound. The 2016 Messorio presents an absolute textbook rendition of Merlot that can be read and appreciated in terms of the layering and overlapping textures of the wine as it rolls over the palate. There is a point of sweetness on the palate, and the wine also shows a bright point of acidity that makes for a great balancing act. I tasted this wine twice, and at my first tasting, I tried it next to the 2015 vintage, thus putting me in a better position to directly compare the two. Whereas the 2015 edition came off as more velvety and soft, the 2016 vintage displays exceptionally crafted precision. This is an incredible wine. Fermentation occurs in cement vats, and the wine goes into barrique for 19 months. Some 11,000 bottles were made."
Wine & Spirits Magazine - August 20, 2021 "This pure merlot from the Bolgheri coast is smooth and velvety. This is the second year in which proprietor Cinzia Merlia has reduced the toast levels in the new French oak barriques where Messorio ages, and the effect is brilliant in this wine from the moderate 2016 growing season, bringing striking clarity to the wine’s juicy plum and black cherry flavors. Notes of fennel bulb and aniseed accent the fruit tones, and the flavors glide on silky tannins toward a long, elegant finish." - S.J.
Jeb Dunnuck - February 3, 2023 "The 2016 Messorio is rich, expressive, and beautifully tailored. Ripe with lush fruit of boysenberry, plum, and candied violets, and a bit of vanilla bean spice, it is very pleasant and attractive. It is full and inviting on the palate and ripe with velvety tannins, and it offers elegant, polished notes of sweet plum, spice, and a lightly saline and long finish." - A.F 1/23
Antonio Galloni (96+) - February 11, 2020 "The 2016 Messorio is the most reticent of Le Macchiole's 2016s. Dense and closed in on itself. Stylistically, Messorio is the wine in this range that lies closest to the Macchiole style of years past. Readers will have to be patient with 2016. Time in the glass softens the wine nicely but it will be at least a few years before it is close to being ready to drink. The wine's persistence and overall harmony bode very well for the future."
James Suckling - February 11, 2020 "Shows very ripe aromas on the nose with lightly burnt oranges, black olives and fresh dark berries and hints of walnuts, yet the palate is driven and very bright with ultra-fine tannins and a flavorful finish. Shows definition and tension. Drink in 2021 and onwards."
More on Le Macchiole Messorio 2016
December 15, 2021 - Robb Report contributors Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen wrote a beautifully informative article about wines produced in Italy's Bolgheri region, listing Le Macchiole's Messorio as one of the crown jewels…
Other Wines by this Producer
First produced in 1991, Paleo Bianco is a silky, mineral-driven blend of Chardonnay (90%) and Sauvignon Blanc (10%). Perfect for pairing with seafood, this white is well suited to a medium to long aging in bottle.
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.
Scrio was born in 1994, out of Eugenio Campolmi’s wish to produce a wine which would best express his vision of Syrah, his favorite grape variety. As all Le Macchiole wines, Scrio has an original personality and stands apart from Syrah grown in France or anywhere else – it is an extraordinarily compelling meld of deep and velvety Mediterranean fruit with cool climate aromatics and detail. Given the extremely limited production, Scrio is decidedly a hidden gem.
Paleo Rosso has been called Italy’s landmark expression of Cabernet Franc. This grape variety is growing internationally as a distinct bottling, but Bolgheri has proven to be the single best place in the world to do so. The Mediterranean climate and surroundings result in a wine of extraordinarily expressive, sensual, and textural fruits and savory spices.