Moinica Larner, who has taken over from Antonio Galloni at Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, avows that Petrolo’s Galatrona 2010 is “heaven sent”, scoring it 96 points; James Suckling follows suit, awarding it 95 points. Galatrona is a special wine and considered as one of the greatest wines now being produced in Italy. It is made in extremely limited quantities, with less than 1,110 cases made annually and its renown grows with every passing year, as does its price, which rises very quickly after two years in bottle. We released the 2009 last year at £280 (six bottles) and it has risen by 25% since then to £350. This is hugely compelling, offering an enormous incentive to buy Galatrona when it is young; prices of the 2008 to 2005 all exceed £390, while the 2005 already trades above £450.
Galatrona remains a new kid on the block, only producing its first vintage in 1994. It began to gain momentum in 1997 onwards and as such it has large potential for growth over the next five years. Galatrona remains undervalued amongst its Tuscan 100% Merlot peers; Masseto already cost £2,500 for six bottles across the last ten vintages, while Redigaffi rarely trades below £700. Outside Tuscany one looks to Petrus for 100% Merlot single varietals, which holds pride of place as one of the most expensive wines in the world.
It is rare indeed to find a wine of this quality for £43 IB per bottle and it is clearly undervalued by the market and compared to other vintages. It displays the tell-tale Merlot ripeness and silkiness, combining a smooth mouthful with great complexity. In its youth plum, black cherry, tar, cigar box, smoke and liquorice burst from the glass. As it ages it takes on notes of chocolate, leather, jam, mocha and espresso. We are huge fans of this wine not least because of its great concentration and symmetry. Given the strength of this great vintage the 2010 in particular boasts wonderful balance and freshness, inherent across all great wines made in this superlative year. Galatrona 2010 will certainly be considered among its greatest ever wines in the coming years.
Background and winemaking
The vineyard is found in the region of Colli Aretini, where the Aretini hills encircle Monti Chianti, an area declared as a treasure for its wine and olive oil by the Archduke of Tuscany in 1716: Jamie Oliver uses and stocks Petrolo’s olive oil in his shops. The Petrolo Estate is found on an ancient Fiefdom and the Galatrona tower is built on Roman ruins that remain today; this is where the name of Torrione, their other critically acclaimed wine, comes from. The quality of the terroir has been recognised and protected for centuries.
In the 1940s the Bazzocchi family bought the Estate and since the 80s the family have focused on producing a world famous wine of uncompromising quality. They produce only 13,000 bottles a year, a production more akin to Burgundy than Tuscany. They rigorously restrict the yields, forcing the grapes complete maturation and ensuring extremely concentrated levels of anthocyans, which translates to Petrus like tannin ripeness. They macerate for 14 days, after malolactic fermentation they spare no expense by then transferring the wine to new French Barrique (225 litres) for 18 months.
The 2010 is outstanding offering exceptional value and a must for any collector who either loves the Tuscan 2010 vintage, 100% Merlot, or those looking to speculate for investment. We are also offering their wonderful second wine Torrione which scored 93 points from Larner and 92 from Antonio Galloni in 2010. Petrolo’s Torroine is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, making 4,000 cases a year. For £18 IB per bottle a wine of the quality is hard to come by and the price alone makes it hugely compelling, drink the Torroine while you are waiting for the Galatrona to hit its straps.
Petrolo Galatrona 2010 6×75 – £260 IB
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate 96 points
“A massive expression of Merlot, the 2010 Galatrona is heaven-sent. The layers are infinite here spanning dark fruit, spice and chocolate. I fall in love with this wine year after year. The mouth is caressed with stirring complexity and fine tannins that feel silky and smooth. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.”
Petrolo Torrione 2010 6×75 – £110 IB
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2010 Torrione is exception and a very reasonable value. It opens with elegant richness and soft tones of black cherry, licorice, spice and dark leather. The style is opulent and confident for this mostly Sangiovese-based wine. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”
To go to our buy page please click here.