(75 customer reviews)

Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra 2018

$108.95
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14.50% /
750ml /
Vintage: 2018
  • WS 93
  • WA 97
  • DEC 97
  • JS 98
  • FAL 98
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Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra 2018 is an ample and balanced organic Merlot, hailing from the exceptional Val d’Arno di Sopra appellation in Tuscany. Careful selection of grapes from the 10Ha vineyard situated at an altitude of 300m asl, and blended with French oak tonneaux and barriques creates a harmonious wine with intense aromas and an elegant tannic structure. An impressive nose reveals aromas of blackberries, black and green olives, violets, and cigar box with a delicate balance of nuances of cardamom, berries, acidity, fruit, and tannin on the palate.

This sleek and elegant vintage, hailing from this exceptional terrior, has been met with universally ecstatic reviews. Gaining a remarkable 98 points from James Suckling for its balanced complexity and purity, and 97 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate for its carefully precise and whole presentation. Aged for 18/20 months in rigourously selected French Oak tonneaux and barriques, this captivating vintage and its unique terrior have been treated with the utmost respect by the celebrated winemaker Luca Sanjust. Utilizing natural/sustainable farming techniques since 2004, Petrolo is proud to have obtained Organic Certification in 2016, and has pushed forward its commitment to organic production with this vintage.

Truly captivating and simply unique, Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra 2018 is a stunning example of the exceptional Merlots crafted by Luca Sanjust and the spectacular appeal of Val d’Arno di Sopra terrior. This majestic and organic vintage is meant for cellaring but can be enjoyed now.

75 reviews for Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra 2018

  1. Danny Wallace

    Fresh with dark fruits, menthol, smooth structure, and grippy tannins. Excellent balance and freshness. 93+

  2. Monte Schmitt

    Dark and concentrated with sweet fruit notes, this modern cab is not for me. #DMtest

  3. Mary Sunderman

    Ruby-colored with bright acidity and a nice plum flavor, this wine has notes of orange peel, blackberries, mushroom and red clay.

  4. Willie Helmes

    Russk Suckling Tasting: 92 pts. Mostly Merlot.

  5. John Allen

    Intensely fruity and chocolatey with a smooth, round texture. Needs a few more years to reach its full potential.

  6. Micheal Harris

    Bold Merlot with notes of tobacco, plum, and dark fruit. Tannins need time to mellow, will improve with aging.

  7. Randy Sanders

    Excellent: 92+

  8. Ryan Walker

    Petrolo’s Flagship Merlot is rich, BIG and tannic with black fruit, iodine and decent acidity. Worth a try in the cellar but needs 5-6 years to gauge.

  9. Lyndsay Mays

    Impressive density, balance, and structure with elegant tannins. This modern merlot has Italian-esque acidity and black fruit. Tasty now with upside.

  10. Irving Soto

    Young and tannic, needs 5-7 years to improve. Decant for 2-3 hours. Not as good as pricier Tuscan Merlots. 91+ pts.

  11. Wallace Beverly

    A complex and balanced wine with scents of dark berries, lavender, earth, and spice. Full-bodied with tart plum, black cherry, and dark currant fruit. A long, tannic finish with hints of dark chocolate, spice, and mineral. Potential to be the best Galatrona ever.

  12. Victoria Stewart

    Wine needs time to blossom. 2015 Tuscan Bdx blend has dark fruits, herbs, leather and mushrooms on the nose. Impressive concentration and density but not open yet. Not overly complex. Needs to be locked away for at least 5, probably even 10 years.

  13. Jacob Buchanan

    Would have never picked this as Italian merlot. Tastes like a right bank of the highest quality.

  14. Patricia Leonard

    California cab-like with oak, medium tannins, good fruit, and earthy notes. Solid wine, 94 points.

  15. Christine Respess

    Scent of violet, licorice, and smoke. Firm tannins, good acid, and spice. Softening tannins with air time. Recommended for future purchase.

  16. Gene Wilson

    J Carver’s Merlot at their Austin restaurant is a lovely Italian-style wine that drinks well quickly, with age not necessarily required.

  17. Janice White

    Rich dark fruit with hints of blackberry and damson on the palate. 100% Merlot with 14% ABV. Opulent structure, will age well.

  18. Stephani Rodriguez

    Intense aromas of ripe black currants, plums, espresso, leather, and bacon. Delicately full-bodied with silk tannins and a long, delicious finish. A must-try for wine enthusiasts.

  19. Teresa Turner

    Fruit explosion with good balance and complexity. Tannins in good balance with alcohol. Drinking window opens 2022.

  20. Patsy Mccoy

    Impenetrable color. Explosive yet smooth nose with a mix of forest berries, Vignola cherry, licorice, cocoa, leather, spices, and herbs. Powerful and elegant with a deep and layered nose. The sip is energetic, fresh, and light with glossy tannins and remarkable persistence. Territory might be lacking, but it is still fantastic.

  21. Thomas Tierney

    Unimpressive Tuscan Merlot lacking character and complexity, attempting to imitate Pomerols but falling short.

  22. Esther Jamison

    Amazing value at $80. My favorite super Tuscan. Dense color, complex nose, structured palate. Love it.

  23. Gary Holland

    Allow to breathe for several hours, serve slightly warmer than cellar temperature. Tart fruit, dark minerals, nutmeg, pepper, and a dry finish. Limited oak presence.

  24. Tracey Haislip

    Superb complexity. Best ever made.

  25. Charles Bennett

    Improved over 3 years; rich red & black berry fruit with slight bitter note; medium to long finish; moderate tannins & strong acidity. Good value at $70.

  26. Deborah Alu

    “Excellent wine, best enjoyed in 3-4 years while waiting for the magnificent 2019.”

  27. Rocky Mitchell

    Rich and earthy with smoky notes. Dark fruit, sage, and leather flavors with a long acidic finish. Perfect with food. A blessing.

  28. Bryan Rodriguez

    Dark plum aromas with succulent wild fruit. Rich, ripe dark fruit flavors with a nice acid cut. Medium body and a slightly chewy finish. Balanced and delicious with great value for the price point. 93-94.

  29. Manuel Lear

    Outstanding quality Merlot with sweet plum, blueberry and cherry compote perfume, hibiscus, violet, blood orange, milk chocolate and a breeze of tuscan countryside herbs. Purity of fruit on palate, silky smooth tannins, cocoa and mint. One of Italy’s top Merlots.

  30. Domenic Shulte

    Gabriel Gold Merlot: Dark red with black currant, blue fruit, Provencal herbs, and leather. Balanced with silky tannins and acidity. Hedonistic and great now or in 10 years. No significant change after 2.5 hours.

  31. Robt Green

    Silky, balanced dark fruit with layers of elegance. Keeps you coming back for more. Great wine.

  32. Thomas Hayes

    93. Drank a little early.

  33. Michael Williams

    Jammy, overripe dark fruit with hints of olive and Smokey oak. Well-integrated tannins, silky and long. Too much punch of acid and alc. at this point. Needs at least 5 years for mellowing. Drank with chicken sausage in fire roasted tomato sauce over egg noodles. 94 pts today.

  34. Arnulfo Donaldson

    Structured with blackcurrant, olives, cherry, and meaty notes. The red and black fruit is punchy but controlled by tannin and acid. Long life ahead.

  35. Kerry Glass

    Black/red with fine sediment. Nose of tobacco, cranberry, black cherry, and herbs. Medium body, high acidity, medium+ tannins, long finish. Enjoyed and will buy again. 93++.

  36. Beverly Pepe

    Ripe and bright cherry wine at PNP. Improved after extended slow ox. Lay down for a long rest. 92 at open, 94 after ox, 96+ after a decade.

  37. Joseph Richardson

    Balanced acidity with red fruit and blackberry notes. Herbal and leather finish. Elegant and delicious. Great aging potential.

  38. Joseph Sartoris

    High acid Merlot with dark berry and walnut skin aromas. Earthy and chewy with manageable tannin. Opens up on day 2. Nice wine.

  39. Margaret Perry

    Sublime layers of red cherries, cassis, and olive tapenade with long-lasting finish. A captivating elegance. Drink in 2025 or later.

  40. Patricia Skidmore

    The best Italian Merlot I have ever tasted, on par with Petrus. Thanks to Watchelover for introducing me to it.

  41. James Harrison

    re-tasted, same sensations of happyness. Incredible wine

  42. Earl Ramirez

    Too young. Wait to open.

  43. Michael Jackson

    Rich and complex with notes of blackberry, violet, leather, cumin lamb, chocolate, and a hint of mint. Balanced with fine tannins and elegant aromas. Slightly strong alcohol taste but overall excellent.

  44. Eugene May

    Top wine, second only to the outstanding 2019 vintage.

  45. Loretta Meier

    SuperTuscans Zoom Tasting in Grassl 1855. Ruby color, dark fruit aroma, full body, and long finish. Good quality but lacks complexity.

  46. Sonya Ware

    Superb wine. Needs a few years to soften. World-class Merlot. 97-99.

  47. David Strickland

    Velvety with seamless elegance. Wild blackberries, green tobacco leaf, black cherries, walnut shell, and green olives. Thick and has staying power. Drink 2023-2035.

  48. Jeremy Meinhart

    Review: Excellent wine, great value, highly recommended.

  49. Mary Reddish

    “Amazing QPR. Killer wine. Must buy now.”

  50. Andy Bolen

    “Discover impressive wines from a hidden gem. Great people, terroir, and wine. Tremendous quality at a reasonable price. Must buy.”

  51. Margaret Rodriguez

    Galatrona Merlot: A fun, enjoyable wine with racy fruit and Tuscan terroir. Missing the classy x-factor of the Clinet. Will be better with time.

  52. Charlotte Crumm

    Dark and fragrant with ripe fruit aromas of cherries, plums, and blackberries, as well as floral and earthy notes. Well-balanced with a smooth texture and a long finish. A fantastic wine that should age well.

  53. Johanna Oldenkamp

    Day one: full nose of dry herb, mineral, and dark fruit, dusty body with chocolate. Rated 93.
    Day two: faded quickly, magic gone, rated 91. Aging potential questionable.

  54. Melissa Kent

    Excellent spicy Merlot!

  55. Todd Hawkins

    Silky smooth with a touch of spice and acidity. Will last for years. Perfect for non-dry wine lovers. Can’t wait to share with family.

  56. Mary Corbett

    Intense with depth, good tannins, dark fruit, olive/raisin.

  57. Abbie Toles

    Black fruit, green leaves, pepper. Smooth, structured, and tannic. Can age 5+ years.

  58. Pat Tate

    Elegant medium body, dark fruit with raspberry and nice layers.

  59. Richard Gibson

    Defective, nasty, hot, alcoholic. Over-extracted Merlot. Pointless.

  60. Lisa Searchwell

    Dense with dark fruit and complexity, this multi-layered wine is amazing.

  61. John Shell

    Rich flavor and color with notes of cedar, cassis, blackcurrant, cherry, and vanilla. Full merlot and oak palette. Improves with age.

  62. Irene Berlin

    2019 Galatrona is VERY, VERY good. Crushed blackberries, lavender, and earth on the nose. Full-bodied yet elegant. Tart, tangy plum, blackberry, and pomegranate fruit on the palate with a piercing acidity. Youthfully restrained finish with crunchy tannins and lingering notes of earth, spice, and mineral. A tannic monolith now, but has the pedigree to be a world-beater in 5 years. Best Galatrona tasted. Bravo, Luca!

  63. Billie Lee

    Italian Merlot with the seduction of the Right Bank and the spice of Chianti. Even better this time.

  64. Marlene Jackson

    Balanced and satisfying with full mid-palate and notes of blueberry and floral in the retro-nasal.

  65. Helen Smith

    Plush and enjoyable medium-bodied wine with dark fruit flavors of blackberry, black currant, and sweet plum. Slightly sweet and fruitier, akin to California wines.

  66. Ashley Hall

    Cherry and spice with great mouthfeel. Pair with food. Will improve with time. Seeking more. 94++.

  67. Jack Cardenas

    Muted nose with berry, minerals, and graham cracker notes. Medium-bodied with good acidity. Mixed reviews.

  68. Jerome Carey

    Enjoyable old world style merlot with dark berry fruit and charged acidity. Delicious and easy to drink, best enjoyed young.

  69. Patti Kyser

    Dark reddish-purple wine with ripe fruit aromas of dark cherries, blackberries, plums, cocoa, coffee, herbs, anise, olives, pepper, leather, minerals, balsamic notes, and oak/vanilla. Full-bodied with concentrated, smooth, plush, and luscious fruit flavors and a long finish. Can be enjoyed now with decanting but will improve with more aging.

  70. Neal Reynolds

    Italian Merlot with pungent aroma, well-balanced and light on the feet, finishes long and delightful.

  71. Sharon Jensen

    Valdambra Merlot – Deep ruby with pronounced aroma of blackberries, cherries, and herbs. Medium body, fresh and fragrant with balanced black fruit flavors and refined tannins. Long and fruity finish.

  72. Larry Delaney

    Galatrona 100% Merlot is a full-bodied wine with expressive aroma’s of blackcurrant, sottobosco, and some tobacco. It has silky, mouth-coating tannins and fresh acidity. Though less refined and complex than the epic 2004 vintage, it has a long finish and the structure to age well.

  73. Kenneth Barrington

    Intense dark cherries and sweet tobacco from nose to aftertaste. A powerful and concentrated merlot that can be enjoyed now, yet will have a long way to go.

  74. Arturo Locke

    Review: Young, round, and recognized as a Bordeaux-based wine. Lush and easy, but not too complex. Bought for €95 in May 2023 at Kölner Weinkeller. Patience required for the 2019 vintage.

  75. Mary Grieco

    Sweet, big, soft structure with dark plum, blackberry, and dark cherry notes.

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Critical Acclaim

WS 93
Wine Spectator
Bursting with bright black cherry, blackberry, iron, wild herb and forest floor flavors. Juicy and relaxed, with fine acidity and plenty of tannins for support. Very charming and harmonious overall. Non-blind Petrolo Galatrona vertical (November 2021). Best from 2025.
WA 97
Wine Advocate
Petrolo is a certified organic grower, and this iconic expression of Merlot from Tuscany has now moved on from IGT status to the Val d'Arno di Sopra appellation. This is big news for an appellation trying to carve out its own identity in the competitive environment of Tuscan wine appellations. There is arguably no wine in this area near Arezzo more celebrated than Galatrona. The Petrolo 2018 Val d'Arno di Sopra Galatrona is a beautifully soft and supple expression with dark fruit, cherry, blackberry, tobacco, spice and smoked cedar wood. The results are balanced and elegant, and this vintage has a beautiful manner in which it presents the intensity and depth of Tuscan Merlot without any of the heaviness or darkness you might anticipate. Everything comes together here with careful precision and wholeness.
DEC 97
Decanter
A 100% Merlot cuvée that totally delivers. This is seductive with tons of finesse and layers of liquorice and olive paste with grip and smoked swirls of grilled oak. I love the confidence and complexity of this wine. 2018 had less extreme temperatures than 2017 in this corner of Chianti, and it gives a lilting freshness while still guarding the wild fig and rosemary aromatics that give a sense of place. Fermentation is in small barrels and amphoras, with manual punching down of the skins. Overall, a gorgeous wine and an extremely easy bottle to recommend. 20,000 bottles, with the Place de Bordeaux responsible for all distribution outside of Italy. Organic certified since 2016. Owner and winemaker Luca Sanjust worked with the late Denis Durantou of L'Eglise Clinet during the early years of Petrolo, and certainly you can see some of the deft playing with the possibilities of Merlot that became the signature of both men.
JS 98
James Suckling
Aromas of blackberries, black olives, green olives and violets. It’s really aromatic. Full-bodied, yet so precise and polished with creamy, layered tannins that caress your palate. It’s extremely persistent and goes on for minutes. Only 40% new wood. Really balanced. All about purity and complexity From organically grown grapes. Try after 2023.
FAL 98
Falstaff
Rich ruby colour with a purple shimmer. Impressive nose with notes of cigar box and cardamom. In the background a plethora of berries, exciting. Filling the palate with an abundance of vivid and juicy fruit, unveiling finely-knit, multi layered tannin. Long and polished expression.

What does Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra 2018 taste like?


Light
Bold
Smooth
Tannic
Dry
Sweet
Soft
Acidic
Earthy Flavors of the wine

leather, earthy, mushroom

Red Fruit flavors of the wine

cherry, raspberry, red fruit

Oaky Flavors of the wine

oak, tobacco, vanilla

apple, quince, yellow plum

Black Fruit Flavors of the wine

blackberry, plum, dark fruit

Aromas and Flavors of Spices in the wine

pepper, licorice, cinnamon

Citrus notes found in the wine

orange, lemon peel, orange peel

cheese, cream, toasted bread

Vegetal notes found in the wine

tomato, asparagus, rhubarb

raisin, fig, prune

lychee, bubblegum

Floral aromas found in the wine

violet, lavender, potpourri

Food Pairing with Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra 2018

Our wine experts think this Bold and Structured Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra 2018 wine would be a match made in heaven with these dishes. Bon appétit!
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merlot
Merlot, a red wine grape variety, boasts a rich heritage intertwined with Bordeaux and the southwest of France. Revered for its versatility, Merlot is equally at home in easy-drinking reds and renowned labels from regions like Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, epitomized by the sought-after Petrus from Pomerol. Globally, it ranks as the second most cultivated red grape variety, only surpassed by Cabernet Sauvignon, showcasing its widespread acclaim. Merlot's success is attributed to its adaptability to various climates and soil profiles. In Bordeaux, it thrives, particularly in Saint-Émilion and Pomerol, owing to its reliable ripening. Beyond France, Merlot has made its mark in regions such as northern Italy, southern Switzerland, the United States (notably California and Washington),...Please check Merlot for more information

Winemaker of Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra 2018

Luca Sanjust

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