The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Biondi-Santi and Le Macchiole

Posted on | November 12, 2015 | Written by Michael Adler | No Comments

Michael Adler 5.29.15Today I’ve chosen exceptional Tuscan wines from the stellar 2010 vintage made by two of the region’s very best estates: Biondi-Santi and Le Macchiole. While both estates are frontrunners in their respective appellations, they differ from one another in many ways. For example, while Biondi-Santi was established over 150 years ago and grows only one grape–Montalcino’s iconic Sangiovese Grosso; Le Macchiole is a relative newcomer to the Super-Tuscan scene and is dedicated to three grape varieties of French origin: Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah.

Located right next to Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, Le Macchiole is a very cool estate run by the very talented Cinzia Merli, who took control of the winery’s operations after the death of her husband, Eugenio Campolmi, who founded the estate in 1983. Le Macchiole has distinguished itself among Bolgheri’s elite Super-Tuscan producers for its three organically-grown, single-vineyard mono-varietal flagship wines: Scrio, a Syrah; Messorio, a Merlot; and Paleo, the wine I’m featuring today, which is crafted from Cabernet Franc.

Biondi-Santi, on the other hand, needs very little introduction. This is the Brunello estate, responsible not only for the DOCG’s creation in 1968 but for discovering and popularizing the Brunello clone, Sangiovese Grosso, in the late nineteenth century. The estate’s Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a wine of unparalleled beauty, age-worthiness and collectability; in my opinion, it is the pinnacle of all Italian winemaking. The estate’s outstanding Rosato di Toscana was, until recently, only available to those lucky enough to visit the estate; however, IWM is now proud to be the sole US retailer of this rare and tantalizing treat—fortunate for our lucky Brunello-loving clients!

Biondi-Santi Il Greppo 2010 Rosato di Toscana IGT $79.99

This mono-varietal Sangiovese Grosso Rosato is in the running for the most unique, historic and special rosé wine in all of Italy. Medium-bodied and highly aromatic, this rosato sings with lively notes of ripe strawberries and raspberries, fresh flowers and steely minerals. Crisp, clean, bright, complex and seriously delicious, Biondi-Santi’s 2010 Rosato di Toscana is a rare treat for Brunello collectors and Biondi-Santi enthusiasts, and it’s only available at IWM.

Le Macchiole 2010 Paleo Rosso $109.99

The ‘10 Paleo Rosso is a dense, layered and opulent expression of Cabernet Franc that has a very long life ahead of it. Dark blue and black fruits are supported by secondary notes of tobacco, mineral, leather, violets and herbs in this massive, structured wine. The 2010 will benefit greatly from additional time in the cellar as its firm, chewy tannins will mellow and soften, becoming more refined, finessed and integrated with age.



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