Wine Wednesday: Galatrona from Petrolo

This week’s Wine Wednesday is dedicated to Galatrona from the Petrolo winery. I first tasted it a couple of years ago and then again in February at the Anteprime and in April at Operawine in Verona.

It’s from the Val d’Arno di Sopra DOC and is 100% Merlot. It’s a beauty and worth the swanky price tag. Made on soils rich in loam and clay with shale, marl and sandstones, this wine is a complex, elegant, layered and structured example of Merlot from Italy.

The winery has been practicing dry farming and sustainable agriculture and since the 2016 harvest they are organically certified. The wine is made using native yeasts in cement vats. It ages in wood, about 1/3 new for 18 months.

I really liked the balance and concentration in this wine. It had enough of everything to make it very complete – acidity, fruit, tannins, and alcohol. The family has spent time in Bordeaux in Pomerol and it shows in these beautifully structured wines.

Tenuta di Petrolo, is run by the fourth generation of the Bazzocchi-Sanjust family. Today Luca Sanjust heads it up. They have 272 hectares at between 250-400 meters above sea level. Sanjust is the head of the Valdarno DOC and in March 2016 was nominated to be the vice president of another organization of DOP and IGP wines in Tuscany called è A.VI.TO.(Associazione vini toscani dop e igp), this group is a consortium of consorzio and speaks for 21 out of the 28 Tuscan organizations.

The Val d’Arno di Sopra DOC is one of the most recent, created in 2011 although the area has been recognized since the 1700s as one where wines are of tremendous quality. It was in 1716, that Cosimo III de’ Medici declared, in an edict, that there were four areas of Tuscany producing the highest quality wine. Valdarno was one of these areas along with three other sites in Tuscany: Chianti, Pomino and Carmignano.

Many of the wineries in the area also can make wines using the Chianti Colli Aretini denomination. Some choose to while others do not. I wrote about the Colli Aretini in a book for the University of Oklahoma that has a program in the city some years ago. I visited the area and distinctly remember passing Petrolo near a big tunnel.

The DOC includes the east and west of the Arno Valley from the plains around Arezzo to the hills around Florence. I’ll write about others I tried at the Anteprime in another post.

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