Le Macchiole

Italy, Tuscany

Initially put onto the wine map by Eugenio Campolmi in 1983, the Le Macchiole estate has been run by his wife Cinzia since 2002. In the heart of Bolgheri, with 22 hectares of vineyard over much of the best soils of the region these are, along with the Sassicaia and Ornellaia's vineyards, also among the oldest and most established vines in Bolgheri. Their careful selection of grape varieties and cultivation techniques according to climate and soil has led them to concentrate on Merlot, Syrah and most importantly Cabernet Franc, a variety which can express itself so well in the hands of Le Macchiole.

All of their wines are marked by a unique and unmistakable character. Full bodied wines, and yet with clean and elegant flavours, leading to great freshness and finesse, they are incredibly sought after world-wide. The estate has been organic since 2002, and they are experimenting with biodynamics.

Proprietor Cinzia Merli and long-time consulting oenologist Luca D’Attoma continue to make important strides, as the estate’s wines seem to be heading for a less obvious, decidedly elegant style than has sometimes been the case in the past. A conversion to biodynamic farming in some of the estate’s vineyards and a more enlightened use of French oak are among the recent developments at Le Macchiole. Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com