Galatrona is Petrolo’s most acclaimed wine, a Merlot cru made exclusively with grapes from the Galatrona-Feriale vineyard planted in various phases during the 1990s with low vigor Bordeaux clones. The unique microclimate allows the concentration of the noble components of the grapes that are fundamental for the great structure, elegance, balance, and persistence that has made Galatrona one of Italy’s most coveted wines.
The vines are planted on clay-rich loam, with shale, marl and sandstone. Clay helps to retain the moisture in the soil, which is particularly useful during the hot, dry Tuscan summers. The vineyard lies approximately 1000 feet above sea level and has a south-eastern exposure. The vineyard spans 25 acres, with almost 50,000 plants grown on spurred cordon trellising. The yield per plant is notably restricted (max 2.5 lbs per vine plant), 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. The limited yields permits the grapeskins to achieve highly concentrated levels of anthocyanins and tannin, already sweetened due to the polymerization of the plant.
Skin maceration lasts more than 20 days. Pump-overs are done manually with considerable care and very frequently to allow the complete extraction from the skins. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barriques, usually starting quickly and with regular development. After the malolactic fermentation the wine ages in new and almost new French oak barriques for approximately 18 months. During this period the wine is left for the first 8 months on the fine lees. After bottling, the wine begins its usual maturation period of about 6 months before release.
2018 was a very favorable year to viticulture and among the best vintages ever with extraordinary results in the bottle for quality and quantity. Cold temperatures arrived a little later than usual, only in February and the rains came abundant in the spring. The temperatures have remained slightly above average since April and for the rest of the summer but without excess. Precipitation was contained in the summer. These conditions have supported a balanced growth and perfect ripening of the grapes sustaining optimal health conditions. Harvesting began with the Trebbiano grapes of Bòggina B in the last days of August and continued with Merlot in the first days of September. We harvested Sangiovese from the second week of September while the Cabernet Sauvignon of Campo Lusso was, as usual, the last grape picked during the first days of October.
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Vinous Media - "The flagship 2018 Galatrona, 100% Merlot, is very beautiful. Silky tannins wrap around a core of Merlot fruit. I am struck by how elegant the 2018 is, as Galatrona is so often a wine of impact. Black cherry, chocolate, game, leather, licorice and spice give the 2018 a good bit of nuance. This is an especially understated, refined edition of Galatrona."
Wine Advocate - "The Petrolo 2018 Val d'Arno di Sopra Galatrona is a beautifully soft and supple expression with dark fruit, cherry, blackberry, tobacco, spice and smoked cedar wood. The results are balanced and elegant, and this vintage has a beautiful manner in which it presents the intensity and depth of Tuscan Merlot without any of the heaviness or darkness you might anticipate. Everything comes together here with careful precision and wholeness."
James Suckling -
"Aromas of blackberries, black olives, green olive, and violets. It’s really aromatic. Full-bodied, yet so precise and polished with creamy, layered tannins that caress your palate. It’s extremely persistent and goes on for minutes. Only 40% new wood. Really balanced. All about purity and complexity from organically grown grapes."
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