PICKS of the RACK: Two Big Reds from Macchia Wines | Sangiovese & Petite Sirah | California | 2012 | 91 pts Each

MacchiaMacchia Wines, located in Lodi, California, produces a range of Zinfandel bottlings, Italian varietals, and select other red varietal wines sourced from vineyards in the low-elevation Lodi American Viticultural Area (AVA) and the higher-elevation Amador County AVA. Macchia wines showcase the rich, full-bodied stylistic expressions that reflect the growing conditions in these very different appellations. We tasted two Macchia selections from the 2012 vintage — one from each appellation — and found them both to be very well-crafted with lots of personality.

Macchia SangioveseMacchia | Sangiovese | “Amorous” | Lodi | California | 2012 | $22 | 91 pts

This is a robust, distinctly New World rendition of the classic Italian variety sourced from vineyards in the warm-climate Lodi appellation. It is brimming with aromas of red cherry, raspberry preserve, lavender, and rose water; and delivers flavors of ripe black cherry, red plum, and toasted cinnamon stick, with hints of crème brûlée and allspice layered throughout. The wine is full-bodied, with mild tannins, fresh acids, and well integrated oak. It is an extracted style and lush on the palate, but does not come across as jammy. There is remarkable structure and harmony in the concentration. Serve it with medium-sharp cheeses, tomato-based dishes, and cured meats. We paired it with prosciutto and it all but jumped out of the glass.

(450 cases produced | 15.8% ABV)

Macchia PSMacchia | Petite Sirah | “Bodacious” | Amador County | California | 2012 | $24 | 91 pts

Holding true to its name, this is a gutsy Petite Sirah sourced from vineyards in Amador County, in California’s Sierra Foothills region east of Lodi. On the nose are aromas of dried blueberry, dark chocolate-covered strawberries, and clove; and on the palate, flavors that suggest dark fruit compote, nutmeg, and black tea, with hints of sweet cured tobacco and a touch of smokiness layered throughout. This is full-bodied red, with firm tannins, fresh acids, and seamlessly-integrated oak. There is considerable intensity here, but the wine presents a creamy, finely-textured mouth-feel and is pleasantly balanced. Serve it with medium-sharp cheeses, charcuterie, barbeque, grilled meats, and spicy fare.

(736 cases produced | 15.8% ABV)

Availability: Macchia produces these (and other) wines in fairly small lots, and national distribution is limited. We found the 2012 “Amorous” and “Bodacious” at our local Total Wine store, and they are available at many Total Wine locations nationwide. Visit them virtually at www.totalwine.com for availability in your area. They are also available directly from the winery, of course. Visit Macchia Wines virtually at www.macchiawines.com for more information on these wines and their other selections.

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