Macchia, a Lodi winery specializing in Italian varieties and Zinfandel, is a medium sized family owned winery (13,000 cases) that evolved from the home winemaking passion of owner Tim Holdener. After a decade spent making wine at home, during which time production moved from one barrel, to two, then four, five and six and so on, Tim finally made the leap to become a bonded winery, Lodi’s twelfth, in 2001.
While production focuses on locally sourced fruit, Macchia also produces wines from Amador County. All of the wines tend to be in a bold, fruit rich style that tries to preserve varietal character and a sense of place while allowing for a house style. The wines are moderately influenced by oak aging, with all barrel aging taking place in French oak with an average of 30 percent being new, though that percentage does range from around 20 percent for the Sangiovese to 50 percent for some of the bigger zinfandels.
These are rich, powerful wines that may not appeal to everyone, but they do capture the lushness and intensity that both Lodi and Amador counties are capable of producing.
Chocolatey on the nose with big blackberry fruit, allspice and vanilla, giving this oaky tones on the nose. On entry there’s dark black cherry and blackberry fruit topped with some toasty, charry oak, but this is lighter on the palate than one might expect from the nose with a very slight creamy edge and nice complicating notes of cocoa and herbs that turn aromatic on the back and through the modest, tart and slightly hot finish. 86pts
Plums, spice, earth, and black berry fruits all come together on the complex if earthy nose. Rich on entry with early soft tannins and juicy acids supporting the core of nice meaty plum and spicy red berry fruit on the palate. This is a bit short on the finish but the light texture makes this fun to drink. 87pts
Spicy, briary and intense on the nose with a fair amount of sweet, toasty oak and allspice aromas. There’s a little alcohol sweetness on entry which is followed by a palate softer than one would expect from the nose with a very clear and precise core of red berry fruit with black spice all supported by soft tannins. The finish is a touch short, though this does hold its alcohol well. 88pts
Jammy red berry fruit pops from the glass along with rich, sweet, vanilla-laden oak notes. On entry there’s a rush of big wild cherry that is rich and a bit soft, with a nice lightly creamy red fruited mid palate that shows off clean and fresh and fairly precise fruit, picking up a little black mineral note on the good sneaky length finish. Lots of depth here and while this is fairly oaky the fruit seems to be able to handle it. 89pts
This really shows intense perfumes on the nose filled with cocoa, vanilla and very tight spice notes all embedded in lovely brambly red fruit. Big round and yet well defined in the mouth with nice freshness to the fruit, this shows a hint of earthy rusticity along with the great depth of wild berry fruit that leads to a long, rich finish filled with great red berry fruit topped with mineral and toast notes. 91pts
Not from a specific vineyard or year, these are the top seven barrels of this vintage, though they try to get ten. It’s probably 90 plus percent zin from a specific vineyard, comprised of certain batches or lots that just standout for the quality, and instead of blending them away in larger lots they are brought together here.
Muscular on the nose and packed with black fruit and spice notes that are clear and perfumy, picking up nuanced notes of chocolate and a touch of a medicinal edge with air. This has a lovely palate, ripe, fresh, with good power but not thick. A powerful and elegant wine that marries lovely bright dark berry fruit with a touch of plumminess and fine spice notes all supported by fine grained ripe tannins. Remarkably little heat on the finish which is long and pure. 92pts
Dark black cherry and sweet oak aromas greet the nose picking up a touch of VA and complicating notes of dark plum and vanilla. This is lovely on entry with super fine balance, full base of tannins and good acids, but still comes off a little soft and weighty. The midpalate is filled with earthy plum fruit, nuanced oak, a little peppery spice and floral notes in the mouth with wild cherry fruit on the back end. This is a little rough on the finish, though it does show a lovely lingering sour plum tone with a hint of coffee on the finale. 88pts
5.5 grams sugar per liter RS
Candied red fruit on the nose is wrapped in clove laced holiday spice. This is modestly sweet on entry with early juicy red fruit that is nicely balanced and recall cut red cherries, a little bit of red licorice rope, and a touch of powdered sugar. There’s a nice touch of tannin on the finish and this really does show nice balance though it is a bit simple. 88pts
Zinfandel and Barbera
Reticent and soft on the nose with a little marshmallow and subtle vanilla, licorice, fudge and candied fruit notes. This is smooth and polished in the mouth with a rich lightly sweet red fruited midpalate that turns plummy on the back end and onto the long finish. This is lovely and nuanced if a bit small in the mouth, very clear with a precise feel that shows a lovely transition from smooth palate to tactile and spiced finish. 88pts