The 2015 vintage was superb across the leading regions in Europe. In Tuscany it saw exceptionally dry and hot weather during the summer resulting in concentrated ripe berries. The wines have been met with real excitement, particularly those heralding from Chianti, reminiscent of the 2010 vintage. As such, we are delighted to release one of our favourite Tuscan wines, Petrolo Galatrona 2015. It is yet unscored by the Wine Advocate but has been awarded 96-97 points from James Suckling who says it has ‘The depth of fruit and intensity of tannins that set this Galatrona aside are some of the most impressive in years.’
We make little secret about the fact that we feel Petrolo Galatrona is one of the most exceptionally priced Super Tuscans on the market. Every year we buy as much as we can on release and the wine sells out overnight, such is its growing acclaim and recognition for wonderful pricing on release. The Estate produces 1,100 cases a year and as such, as soon as the first European allocations are exhausted, it rises in price, displaying a very appealing vintage premium. Today’s release price is £260 per case of six in bond, and represents a discount to the 2013 release. Even more so when we adjust for FX changes since then, the price point is extremely appealing indeed in the context of older vintages.
Petrolo Galatrona is made entirely from Merlot in a French style. Its first vintage was in 1994 and it began to gain momentum in 1997. The vineyard is found in the region of Colli Aretini, where the Aretini hills encircle Monti Chianti: an area treasured for its wine and olive oil by the Archduke of Tuscany in 1716. 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 1980s the family have focused on producing a world famous wine of uncompromising quality. Their tiny production is more akin to Burgundy than Tuscany. They rigorously restrict the yields, forcing the grapes’ complete maturation and ensuring extremely concentrated levels of anthocyanins, which translates to Petrus-like tannin ripeness. They macerate for 14 days and after malolactic fermentation they spare no expense by then transferring the wine to new French barrique (225 litres) for 18 months.
Galatrona displays the tell-tale Merlot ripeness and silkiness, combining a smooth mouth-feel with great complexity. In its youth the following profiles burst from the glass: plum, black cherry, tar, cigar box, smoke and liquorice. 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 but it also offers exceptional value for one of Tuscany’s greatest wines.
Petrolo Galatrona 2015, 6×75, £260 IB
The depth of fruit and intensity of tannins that set this Galatrona aside are some of the most impressive in years. Full body, velvety tannins and a long finish. A new 2004? 96-97 Points, James Suckling
To buy this wine, click here