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November 27, 2014

Petrolo Galatrona 2012

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We are delighted to be able to offer the new pre-release of the world class Petrolo Galatrona 2012 at the superb price of £240 per case of six. James Suckling has already awarded it 96 points and described it as ‘very Pomerol’, high praise indeed; it is listed as one of the best wines he tasted in 2014. 2012 was hot and dry in central and coastal Tuscany, although this slowed vine growth down, leading to a drop in production of 20%. The quality appears to be outstanding in Chianti and Bolgheri and the winemakers we have spoken to are very confident indeed. Antonio Galloni is enthusiastic about 2012, saying the wines ’showed more freshness and vibrancy than the 2011s’.

Wines made from predominantly Merlot are globally extremely popular; Pomerol is notoriously expensive, as is Masseto and the market is searching for this vibrant and powerful style of wine at reasonable prices. The wines increase in value quickly as they age so the 2012 pre-release offers a unique opportunity to purchase the wine before it rises above £100 a bottle. Petrolo Galatrona regularly outscores four of the five leading Super Tuscans, all of which – excluding Tignanello – are at least double the price. It also often matches Masseto for quality, but offers extraordinary value, a half case costs less than one bottle of the aforementioned Tuscan giant.

Petrolo Galatrona is one of our favourite wines, offering incredible weight, balance and power, it drinks well young and ages gracefully for decades. This pre-release price means collectors secure the wine at £40 a bottle in bond, or £50 including duty and VAT, the value for money is incredible. This price means that the wine currently has the best Price Over Points Ratio of any vintage. With only 1,100 cases made in high production years the market sells out very quickly and prices rise. Buying fully mature vintages requires much larger investment than buying on release.

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Background and winemaking
Petrolo Galatrona is a famous Super Tuscan, made entirely from Merlot in a French style, producing its first vintage in 1994. It began to gain momentum in 1997 and as such it has large potential for growth over the next five years. Galatrona displays the tell-tale Merlot ripeness and silkiness, combining a smooth mouthfeel 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.

The vineyard is found in the region of Colli Aretini, where the Aretini hills encircle Monti Chianti, an area declared as treasurable 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 80s 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 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. With such low production, less than 1,100 cases made per year, Petrolo Galatrona has to be considered as one of the greatest wines of Italy, yet hard to source.

Petrolo Galatrona 2012 6×75 - £240 IB or £302.76 incl duty and VAT 
James Suckling – 96 Points
Very racy and refined with bright acidity and a blueberry and dark-chocolate character. Love the interplay of acidity and ripe fruit. Minerals and dark fruits, too. Very Pomerol. Pure merlot. Better in 2016 when it softens. 

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