Petrolo New Arrivals 2018

Petrolo lies just outside Chianti Classico on an old Roman road that evokes thoughts of a long gone time. Proprietor, Luca Sanjust excels with rich textured wines loaded with personality. In the best vintages the wines of these rugged hillside vineyards are special. ANTONIO GALLONI

There are plenty of highlights in this new set of releases from Petrolo…The 2015 (Torrione) is a winner. Don’t miss it. ANTONIO GALLONI, January 2018

Firstly, I apologise for two emails in as many days on Italian-related wine topics but I thought this one was worthy!

To say I’m delighted to finally have a new set of wines to offer from Petrolo is an under-statement. For some reason or other we seem to have missed the releases from the estate for a year and have not had any wines at all to sell for about that long. Thankfully, the normal transmission has resumed and with their two most revered wines and from a great vintage. I speak of the Torrione 2015, the 100% Sangiovese that continues to be a favourite of Tuscan cognoscenti the world over and, Galatrona: a 100% Merlot from a postage stamp block just below the ancient Roman tower that keeps watch over the estate. This wine is widely regarded as the being the top Merlot in Italy or, if not top, then very bloody close to top. Oh, and before you turn your nose up at the prospect of Merlot then think again. Tuscan Merlot is only second to the greatest right-bank wines of Bordeaux. This is seriously great juice with everything you associate with the best of the variety with the addition of a savoury Tuscan edge to it. Compelling wine and highly sought after around the world.

Petrolo the estate is something to behold situated south of Florence in the Arno valley. A postcard assemblage of forest, vineyards, olive groves (the olive oil is one of the best in Tuscany), a number of small houses and a dilapidated but very clean and functional winery play host to some of the cult wines of Italy. Owner Luca Sanjust is one of Italian wine’s great characters. A deep understanding of his estate and its wines is powered by a creativity and left-of-centre thinking not always at home in the conservative estates of Tuscany. As a result, the wines are always evolving, evidenced by the fresher styling of Torrione in recent years and the amphora bottling of Boggina (another 100% Sangiovese we have offered previously).

Our allocation of these latest two releases is small for Torrione and tiny for Galatrona. I cannot recommend them enough to you. Although they are not a household name in Australia they are elsewhere and are the equivalent of the greatest cult wineries of Tuscany. Think Isole e Olena, Ornellaia and the like and you’re on the right track.