2017 Petrolo Galatrona IGT

Year: 2017
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 94
James Suckling: 97
Red Wine


Price :

$130 LIST PRICE!!...100% Merlot, The Le Pin of Tuscany! (for what it’s worth!)

"Offers plum, black cherry, violet, earth, leather and wild herb flavors. Dense, beefy tannins join the party in the end, yet this shows freshness and ample fruit, with richness for balance. Merlot. Best from 2022 through 2032. 3,000 cases made, 200 cases imported. -BS" (WS)

"Despite the hardships of the vintage, Luca Sanjust and the team at Petrolo poured all their focus and attention into creating this wine. The 2017 Galatrona shows a hot-vintage interpretation of Merlot that never feels too ripe or heavy. Instead, this wine ushers forth a remarkable succession of balsam herb-like aromas with Mediterranean shrub, rosemary essence and wild sage. Those garden-fresh aromas accompany the dark blackberry fruit that gives this wine its important center of gravity. The Merlot harvest came two weeks early in 2017, and yields were greatly reduced. I am suggesting a slightly shorter drinking window for the 2017 vintage compared to the cellar-worthy 2016 edition.

Average production at Petrolo is 30,000 to 35,000 bottles, but only 17,000 bottles were released in the challenging 2017 vintage. Petrolo proprietor Luca Sanjust calls 2017 a "demoralizing vintage" for all, but hard work and perseverance has paid off handsomely. His wines from the 2017 vintage show great quality, if alas, extremely low quantities." (WA)

"The 2017 Galatrona is a dark, sumptuous beauty. Even with all of its intensity, the 2017 has just enough aromatic nuance and delineation to keep things in check. Espresso, mocha, black cherry, menthol and licorice infuse this plush, dense Merlot with tons of character. This is such a gorgeous and sumptuous wine. " (VM)

"This is incredibly fresh for a 2017 with a well-executed, reductive edge; it opens with rosemary, thyme and tea leaves, before moving through blackcurrants, dark cherries, brambleberries, ash, tobacco and citrus. Dense, full-bodied and very chewy, this remains incredulously fine and elegant. Robust and enveloping tannins coat the mouth and mold the wild fruit into a sleek, pliable package. Finally, a string of refreshing acidity lifts the finish long and complex. Drink now, but better after 2026." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Petrolo is located in Mercatale Valdarno, in the center of the triangle made by Florence, Siena and Arezzo. There are no notable wine estates nearby, but with the romance and poetry that wine brings, Petrolo exemplifies a theme seen more and more in Tuscany: little pockets, special places where extraordinary and singular wines can be made. Petrolo rises high above the valley floor to a tower built in the 12th century, on a perch that has been used as a look-out for 2,500 years. The estate was bought by the Bazzocchi family in the 1940s and since the mid 1980s has been headed by Lucia Bazzocchi Sanjust with the assistance of her son Luca who is now managing the winery. The technical agronomist is Carlo Nesterini, the oenologist is Stefano Guidi and since June 2002, Carlo Ferrini has collaborated on agricultural and vinification issues.

Galatrona is made entirely from pure Merlot grapes harvested around the middle of September. Year after year, it has achieved remarkable scores, and has been referred to as the “Le Pin of Tuscany” by Wine Spectator.

The vines for Galatrona were all planted in the early 1990s. The yield per plant is notably restricted, with the Petrolo estate as a whole producing 65,000 bottles (5,000 cases) from 140,000 plants-less than half a bottle per plant. The strict pruning permits a complete grape maturation to take place.

This limited production permits the grapeskins to achieve highly concentrated levels of antho- cyanins and tannin, already sweetened due to the polymerization of the plant. The maceration on the skins lasts for 14 days. After the malolactic fermentation that takes place in French barrels of 225 liters, the wine is kept in new French oak barriques for 18 months.