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Flat front label of wine

Petrolo Galatrona 2011

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
  • JS99
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • W&S90
0% ABV
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  • WE97
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  • WE98
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  • RP95
  • WS97
  • WE94
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  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 99
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.
WS 94
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
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Very intense and inky black, the 2011 Galatrona is a hugely ripe red wine. Fruit was picked on August 25th, which is a record in terms of early harvests at this estate. The bouquet revs up slowly with aromas of scorched earth, blackberry confit, toasted espresso and bitter chocolate. You also get a note of savory mineral or burnt flint that adds contours and definition to that significant intensity. The wine offers trace sweetness on the finish that contributes to the opulence and richness of the overall package.
W&S 90
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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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 Italian regions 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, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. 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 and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

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. But the grape also has enough stuffing to make serious, world-renowned wines. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, in St. Emilion and Pomerol, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc. On the Left Bank in the Medoc, 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 with Cabernet Franc.

YNG373822_2011 Item# 131405