Fattoria Petrolo, Galatrona, 2015

Fattoria Petrolo, Galatrona, 2015

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2015

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    Italy

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    13.5%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Merlot 100%

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.

About Fattoria Petrolo

Petrolo is a leading wine estate in Tuscany. It is located a mile or so to the east of Chianti Classico, within the Chianti Colli Aretini zone, but classifies its wines as IGT Toscana. It is widely regarded as rivalling many Chianti Classico properties in terms of quality, and is best known for its varietal Merlot wine, Galatrona, and its Sangiovese-based blend Torrione.

The estate has 26 hectares (64 acres) of vineyards with rocky soils typical of the Chianti region. The favourable terroir is aided by the site's altitude of up to 1500ft (450m) above sea level, and the sunny exposure, giving concentrated berries with good acidity. Harvests are carried out manually, and different varieties are fermented separately in glazed cement vats using native yeasts. Most of the wines are aged in French barriques, with some larger barrels and 4000-litre wooden casks.

The Petrolo portfolio consists of six red wines and a Vin Santo called Sanpetrolo. As well as Galatrona and Torrione, it makes a premium Cabernet Sauvignon in tiny amounts called Campo Lusso, and a varietal Sangiovese called Bòggina. A version of this wine is also aged in terracotta amphorae, and is called Bògginanfora. Petrolo's entry-level offering is called Inarno, and is made from grapes sourced from neighbouring growers.

Grape variety
Merlot

Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the colour of the grape. Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.

Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz Cabernet, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties. As of 2004, Merlot was estimated to be the third most grown variety at 260,000 hectares (640,000 acres) globally. The area planted to Merlot has continued to increase, with 266,000 hectares (660,000 acres) in 2015.

While Merlot is made across the globe, there tend to be two main styles. The "International style" favoured by many New World wine regions tends to emphasise late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple coloured wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavours (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially leafy, vegetal notes.

As a varietal wine, Merlot can make soft, velvety wines with plum flavours. While Merlot wines tend to mature faster than Cabernet Sauvignon, some examples can continue to develop in the bottle for decades. There are three main styles of Merlot - a soft, fruity, smooth wine with very little tannins; a fruity wine with more tannic structure; and, finally, a brawny, highly tannic style made in the profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Some of the fruit notes commonly associated with Merlot include cassis, black and red cherries, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, mulberry, olallieberry and plum. Vegetable and earthy notes include black and green olives, cola nut, bell pepper, fennel, humus, leather, mushrooms, rhubarb and tobacco. Floral and herbal notes commonly associated with Merlot include green and black tea, eucalyptus, laurel, mint, oregano, pine, rosemary, sage, sarsaparilla and thyme. When Merlot has spent significant time in oak, the wine may show notes of caramel, chocolate, coconut, coffee bean, dill weed, mocha, molasses, smoke, vanilla and walnut.

Alternative Names: Alicante, Alicante Noir, Bégney, Bidal, Bidalhe, Bigney, Bigney rouge, Bini, Bini Ruzh, Bioney, Black Alicante, Bordeleza belcha, Crabutet, Crabutet Noir, Crabutet Noir merlau, Hebigney, Higney, Higney rouge, Langon, Lecchumskij, Médoc Noir, Merlau, Merlaut, Merlaut Noir, Merle, Merle Petite, Merleau, Merlô, Merlot Noir, Merlot black, Merlot blauer, Merlot crni, Merlot nero, Merlott, Merlou, Odzalesi, Odzhaleshi, Odzhaleshi Legkhumskii, Petit Merle, Picard, Pikard, Plan medre, Planet Medok, Plant du Médoc, Plant Médoc, Saint-Macaire, Same de la Canan, Same dou Flaube, Sème de la Canau, Sème Dou Flube, Semilhon rouge, Semilhoum rouge, Semilhoun rouge, Sémillon rouge, Sud des Graves, Vidal, Vini Ticinesi, Vitrai and Vitraille

About Toscana IGT

Toscana IGT is the most famous – and the most commonly used – of Italy's Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) titles. The geographical region it indicates is, in short, Tuscany. Toscana IGT wines can be made in any village in any of Tuscany's 10 provinces (Arezzo, Firenze, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena).

Free from the stylistic constraints imposed on DOCG and DOC wines, Toscana IGT wines can be made in almost every form imaginable, from bone-dry whites to sweet reds and sparkling rosés. Naturally, given Tuscany's longstanding success with dry red wine, this style is by far the most common.

Tuscany is the home of Italy's most famous IGT category not just because it produces more IGT wine than any other region, but also because it was the famous 'Super Tuscan' wines made here that led to the creation of the category.

When the Italian DOC system was introduced in the 1960s, it proved less efficient than the French system on which it was modelled, and it was certainly less well-received. Many Italian wine producers found the new rules too restrictive and openly criticised the system. A number of these, most notably in Tuscany, chose to continue making their wines as they saw fit, focusing on quality and individuality rather than conforming to their local DOC laws. The price of this freedom was having to label their wines as Vino da Tavola ('table wine'), the lowest tier in Italy's wine classification system.

During the late 1960s, a number of these rebel producers began making modern-styled wines of very high quality – which later became known as the 'Super Tuscans'. These soon gained international acclaim and respect and began increasing dramatically in price. The result was that some of Italy's very finest and most respected wines were being labelled and sold as Vino di Tavola. In 1984, one of the most famous Super Tuscans – Sassicaia – was granted its very own DOC title, DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia, but further measures were required to address the other wines.

To bring a degree of balance to the situation, in 1992 the Italian government introduced a new wine classification category: Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT). This has successfully introduced a mid-ground between the highly regulated DOCG and DOC classifications and the lowly, unregulated Vino di Tavola one. IGT wines are created with the bare minimum of restrictions required to ensure quality wine production: they bear a vintage statement and producer name, they must be made from at least 85% of the grape variety, and the region of origin must be stated on the label. Almost every other restriction placed on IGT wine production falls back to generic regulations in force for all wines made within the EU.

The IGT category is used only in Italy; its equivalent in France is VDP (Vin de Pays). At a European Union-wide level, these two correspond to IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée / Indicazione Geografica Protetta).

The range and diversity of IGT wines continue to expand and evolve in the early 21st Century. The category has freed Italian wine producers from the constraints of tradition, allowing them to produce wines for the modern palate and – arguably more important – for global export markets.

Regular price $998.00

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