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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Petrolo Galatrona 2008

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Galatrona is made entirely from pure Merlot grapes harvested around the middle of September. The yield per plant is notably restricted, allowing a complete grape maturation to take place. This limited production permits the grape skins to achieve highly concentrated levels of anthocyans and noble tannins, already sweetened due to the polymerization of the plant.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 97
Wine Enthusiast
Each new vintage of Galatrona proves, year after year, the enormous potential of Italian Merlot. This is a soft and beautifully decadent wine with plush and perfectly ripe aromas of black cherry, light spice, chocolate and tobacco. The smoothness, richness and persistency is simply unbeatable.
WS 95
Wine Spectator
A powerful young Merlot, with green olive, sweet tobacco and tapenade character. Full and velvety, with loads of tannins at the finish. Polished and impressive for the vintage. Best after 2013.
JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck

A Pomerol-like bouquet of black cherries, chocolate, dried herbs and floral notes all emerge from the 2008 Galatrona. It's full-bodied, packed with fruit and texture, has sweet tannin, and a great finish. Made from 100% Merlot all from a single vineyard, aged 19 months in one-third new French oak, this gorgeous, sexy effort is drinking beautifully, but will certainly cruise for another decade or more.

W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Entirely Merlot from vines planted in the early 1990s, this is black, ripe and powerfully oaked. The fruit itself is tart and lean, the tannins bringing bitter black chocolate to mind. It's juicy underneath, ready for a steak grilled black and blue.
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Petrolo

Petrolo

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Petrolo, Tuscany, Italy
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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.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

MNS23200081_2008 Item# 108508