Petrolo Galatrona 2011
Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
Galatrona is made entirely from pure Merlot grapes harvested around the middle of September. The yield per plant is notably restricted (max 2.0 lbs per vine plant) allowing a complete grape maturation to take place. This limited production permits the grapeskins to achieve highly concentrated levels of anthocyans and noble tannins, 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.
James Suckling - "This is a phenomenal pure merlot with blueberries, raspberries and hints of milk chocolate. Some nutmeg too. Full body with very fine yet chewy tannins and a long, intense finish. Reminds me of the amazing 1998. Best ever from here. Needs four or five years of bottle age to soften."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2011 Galatrona, which I tasted from cement, retains remarkable freshness and vibrancy for a vintage in which so many wines are on the edge of over ripeness. Sweet, floral notes add gorgeous aromatic overtones to balance the intensity of the Merlot fruit. Plum, black cherry, smoke, tar and licorice all flesh out on the voluptuous finish. Today, the 2011 is shaping up to be a superb Galatrona. Range: 93-95"
Wine Spectator - "Round and polished, packed with violet, black currant, cherry, mineral and spice flavors, supported by dense tannins. Spice and toast accents linger on the extended finish"
Wine & Spirits - "The Bazzocchi-Sanjust family planted 7.5 acres of merlot in 1990 at their estate in Chianti Colli Aretini, across the southeastern border of Chianti Classico. Those vines produced a supple 2011, enriched by 18 months of aging in new French oak. The oak brings coffee, chocolate and cinnamon notes to the wine, and emphasizes its plush texture. Lively red plum fruit lasts beyond it, suggesting the wine will age well."
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This Estate was bought by the Bazzocchi family in the 1940s and since the mid 80s has been headed by Lucia Bazzocchi Sanjust with the assistance of her son Luca. Petrolo Estate is located at the site of what was originally a small medieval town called Galatrona and a ower from this period (itself built on foundations dating back to the Roman era) still exists on the property. View all Petrolo Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.