Le Macioche Famiglia Cotarella, new name for what was formerly Le Macioche, an estate winery in Montalcino in Tuscany, Italy. It produces Rosso di Montalcino DOC and Brunello di Montalcino DOCG red wines.
The name: Le Macioche takes its name from a thick wood that overlooks the estate on its western side and which locally was called ‘Le Macioche’ because it contained ‘corbezzolo’ or ‘strawberry’ trees from whose fruit honey was made.
Background: In 1979 Matilde Zecca and Achille Mazzocchi, two wine lovers from Rome, bought the land and restructured the existing vines (“Azienda Agricola Palazzina”). In 1988 they planted 3 hectares of Sangiovese. In 1995 they launched their first wine (from the 1991 vintage) under the Le Macioche label. Matilde Zecca and Achille Mazzocchi’s children were not interested in taking over, so from 14th June 2015 Matilde Zecca and Achille Mazzocchi allowed new owners to take over, and officially sold to the new owners in September 2015. These new owners were called Stefano Brunetto, Massimo Bronzato and Riccardo Caliari. They were Veronese and had a consulting firm called Cloros working in the green energy sector. In 2017 however they sold the estate to Riccardo Cotarella, his brother Renzo Cotarella, and their respective families
Staff: Maurizio Castelli consulted for the Mazzocchi family, and was retained (from 2015) by Brunetto et al, but naturally was not retained by the Cotarella who are also consultants.
Estate vineyards: The estate is located at Loc La Palazzina on the SP55 between Montalcino and Castelnuovo dell’Abate. 6ha of land, of which in 2012 there were 3ha of Sangiovese (guyot) for Brunello, 0.4ha of IGT red plus 2 ha (5 acres) suitable for planting. Also 1ha of olives (see below). Around 15,000 bottles of wine. 450 metres (1,476 feet). The soil is galestro–schist–clay (but not red clay) and alberese. Four sites on each corner of the estate. Maurizio Castelli told me on Sunday 28th Sept 2014 that the exisiting vineyard was all south-facing and a wind tunnel which gets hot air from Sant’Antimo and cold air from Montalcino. This creates high thermic variation which gives the wines their perfume.
Organic certification: 2001 Organic practices, no certification. | 2015 Conversion to organic status began. | 2018 First vintage with full organic certification was due.
Winery: The winery is in a cavern under the low hill that houses the company buildings (the work was done by former owner Achille Mazzocchi, a mechanical engineer). The wine fermented in wooden vats with chilling curtains under the Mazzocchi.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC, Le Macioche: Ages in 500-litre tonneaux. | 2000 Bottled. | 2010 2,000 bottles. Open-knit style, quite light and modern, primary but good (Anteprima 2013). | 2011 3,300 bottles. Garnet colour. Savoury, nice weight, quite open (Anteprima 2014). | 2012 Creamy bright aroma, succulent fruit, bit of mint and menthol, nice and even (Anteprima 2015). | 2013 8,000 bottles. Grapes picked by the Mazzocchi but blended and bottled by Brunetto, Bronzato and Caliari: Fluid, simple, well done (Anteprima 2015). Very nice, really soft and fruity, allegro, nice flavour, very clear, soft, almost like a rosé (Anteprima 2016). | 2014 12m in botti grandi (Anteprima 2016).
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Le Macioche: Ages in 40hl Slavonian oak vats. | 1997 Bottled. | 2000 Elegant nose, bit dry, nice red fruit, light, good terroir but high yields (Anteprima 2005). | 2007 14.5%. Bright nose, quite weighty compared to the other wines from this estate (Anteprima 2014). Creamy succulent fruit, mint and menthol, nice and even (Visit 2017 with Silvana and Maurizio Castelli when it was up for sale). | 2008 12,250 bottles. Nice sweet fruit, deep, well made, nice Sangiovese flavour, hint of green too with sweet and sour but good (Anteprima 2013). Sweet red cherry fruit, mint, open, flat, not too stretched (Anteprima 2014). | 2009 5,300 bottles. Pepper and red fruit (Anteprima 2014). | 2010 10,00 bottles. Made by the Mazzocchi, bottled by Brunetto, Bronzato, and Caliari). Bit evolved, simple, not going anywhere (Anteprima 2014). | 2011 Bit hot and a bit extracted but not too heavy (Anteprima 2016). | 2012 Bright, savoury, bit more tannin than fruit but give it time to settle, bright and savoury, warm end (Anteprima 2017). Crisp, rich, bright and savoury, decent length (Visit 2017). | 2015 16,000 bottles.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva: 2006 Juicy fruit, classic, decent tannin, well made classic style (Anteprima 2015). Very nice, cedary and with good Brunello flavours (Anteprima 2016). | 2011 14.5% Youthful, rich, grainy, nice and even, ripe and savoury (Visit, 2017). | 2013 14%. ‘Cotarella’ on the back label. Quite pale, savoury fruit, not a bad effort in terms of weight (Anteprima 2019).
Other crops: Extra Virgin Olive oil (from 1 hectare of olive groves producing around 300-500 litres of oil). Grappa di Brunello.
Società Agricola Le Macioche, SP55 di Sant’Antimo Km 4.85, I-53024 Montalcino (SI = Siena), Italy
Tel+39 0577.849168 | www.lemacioche.it
Visit to the estate in 2017 with Silvana and Maurizio Castelli when it was up for sale.