Drink 2023 to 2034
Jane Anson, Inside Bordeaux (October 2021)
Made with organic Merlot grapes, the Petrolo 2019 Galatrona is soft and luscious, spreading evenly over the palate with elegance and sweeping intensity. The bouquet shows dark fruit, black cherry and sweet prune. Those dark fruit tones are woven into pretty layers of spice, leather and perfumed tobacco. I like the tight, compact, yet fundamentally rich quality that is part of the mouthfeel in this important vintage. This wine could be considered a bit lighter and more ethereal compared to recent past releases, but I found that all the wines in this batch of new releases go in this same direction.
Drink 2023 - 2045
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Mar 2022)
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Aug 2021)
About this WINE
Fattoria Petrolo Galatrona
Petrolo are based in the Val d’Arno in northern Tuscany and since the 1980s have produced a range of wines from Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malvasia and Trebbiano Toscano, but it’s with Merlot that they have found most success. This is an historic wine growing area and can trace its history back to the early 18th century, while French grape varieties have been used alongside the native Sangiovese here since the early 19th century. In the 1940s, the Petrolo estate was bought by the Bazocchi family and is now owned by Luca Sanjust, a former painter.
Petrolo’s vineyards extend across 31ha of which 26ha are in production. With an altitude between 250 and 450 meters above sea level, the vineyards grow over moderately loose-packed soil with rocky stratifications of limestone, sand, claystone and flakes of shale typical of the Chianti area.
The Galatrona vineyard extends for just 3ha and was planted in 1990. Galatrona is the first Merlot vineyard that Petrolo planted. The wine is named after the medieval tower that overlooks the Petrolo estate. It was first produced in 1994, when a late picked parcel of Merlot was kept separate and bottled as a single varietal.
IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) Tuscany is a wine classification from Italy's Tuscany region. It is one of the official wine classifications recognized by the Italian government. IGT is a step below the highest classification, DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), and above the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) level.
The IGT classification was introduced in 1992 to allow winemakers more flexibility in grape varieties and employ winemaking techniques while still ensuring a certain level of quality and geographical indication. This classification gives winemakers more freedom to experiment and innovate, deviating from the strict regulations of the DOC and DOCG classifications.
IGT Tuscany wines can be produced throughout the entire region of Tuscany, encompassing various sub-regions and terroirs within the area. This classification allows winemakers to use traditional Tuscan grape varieties, such as Sangiovese, and non-traditional grape varieties, including international ones like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and others.
The IGT Tuscany classification gives winemakers the flexibility to create wines that showcase the unique characteristics of their specific vineyards and winemaking styles. It allows for experimentation with blending different grape varieties, using innovative winemaking techniques, and exploring new regional vineyard sites.
IGT Tuscany wines can vary greatly, from traditional and terroir-driven expressions to more modern and international styles. This classification has played a significant role in developing Super Tuscan wines, often IGT designated and known for their high quality and international recognition.
Overall, IGT Tuscany provides a platform for winemakers in the region to express their creativity and produce wines that reflect their unique vision while maintaining a connection to the rich heritage and traditions of winemaking in Tuscany.
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.