“Le Palazzina” estate, comprising only 3 hectares of vineyards and 1 hectare of olive grove, was purchased by Matilde Zecca & Achille Mazzocchi in 1985, and completely renewed by 1988. 1991 was their first vintage. Maurizio Castelli, legendary Tuscan enologist, consults on viticulture and winemaking. Maurizio's reputation rests on his ability to modernize an estate and craft the best quality wines while at the same time respecting the history and character of the region. Thus, a Castelli wine is one that has a true sense of place, and not one of the many 'international' wines now produced throughout Italy.
The wines have an inspiring authenticity. There is no mistaking these for anything but the best quality Brunello. The estate is impeccable. The winery was built from the ground up, designed specifically to produce a small quantity of wine. Achille Mazzocchi is an engineer, and the simple, efficient, elegant plan shows his skill. Only large Botti are used here, no barriques, and since the 2006 vintage the Brunello is typically aged for 31 months in wood, followed by 2 ½ years in bottle before release. Prior to then, the wines spent 43 months in wood and 2 years in bottle. The wines are elegant, highly aromatic, and very complex. The Wine Advocate's Antonio Galloni attributes the finesse to altitude, though Achile recently credited the ventilation as being more relevant, along with the cooling effect of the river downhill from the vineyards.
Each of the wines produced at Le Macioche is a vineyard selection according to the conditions of the vintage, which is an important aspect of quality. The entire estate is classified as Brunello, so every bottle produced could be labeled 'Brunello di Montalcino'. Achille, Matilde Maurizio, and cellar-master Aleandro Monaci, however, select only the best fruit for Brunello to uphold utmost quality. Declassified fruit destined for Rosso di Montalcino would be bottled as Brunello by a less meticulous estate. And since their first vintage in 1991, only five vintages of Le Macioche Brunello have been determined extraordinary enough for the owners to segregate a Riserva - 1995, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2006.
We are very proud to have represented Le Macioche since meeting Matilde & Achille in April 2001. One of the smallest wineries in our portfolio, this is a meticulously maintained, organically-farmed estate (although not certified), and the owners are among the most charming, dedicated people we know - personality that is perfectly reflected in the wine.