...stunning achievement that offers a memorable experience. If you like sugar and sweetness, this syrupy dessert wine is a meal in itself. The bouquet offers crème caramel with honey-coated almond, candied apricot, white grape raisin, maple syrup and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is thick and viscous, and you can feel that silky sleekness spread clear over the palate with the grace of a satin sheet... ...should hold for many years, if not decades... (May 2017)
Fattoria di Petrolo is a historic Tuscan estate of nearly 700 acres, which includes 76 acres of vineyards and 47 acres of olive trees. Besides wine, the estate also produces olive oil. Fattoria di Petrolo is located in Montevarchi, which is just outside the Chianti Classico zone of Tuscany. Owner Luca Saintjust is part of the family that bought the estate in 1940s, and since the 1980s it has been producing wine. Only in recent decades has the wine begun winning praise from collectors and reviewers, including Robert M. Parker Jr., who has written that “Petrolo is a jewel of an estate, and I can’t recommend the wines highly enough.” The estate produces about 60,000 bottles a year and there are only two main wines, a Sangiovese, Il Torrione, and a Merlot, Galatrona.
Tuscany, or Toscana in Italian, is Italy’s best-known wine region and its most diverse. Historically Sangiovese was the primary grape grown in Tuscany and Chianti was considered the purest expression of Sangiovese. Sangiovese and its many clones are still important, and they are the grapes used for the Tuscan appellations of Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano, Chianti, Chianti Classico and Carmignano. But in the last 50 years innovative producers, many of them in southwestern Tuscany in the area called Maremma, have also planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The tradition defying producers have blended those varietals with Sangiovese to produce dazzling wines that do not conform to Italy’s appellation regulations. Such wines are called Super Tuscans and cannot be labeled with either of Italy’s highest level quality designations, which are in order of status Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantia, (DOCG), and Denominazione di Origine Controllata, (DOC). (This has not at all hindered the demand for Super Tuscans, some of which are consistently among the world’s most admired and well-reviewed wines.) Tuscany has six DOCG appellations and thirty-four DOCs. Though famous for its red wines, Tuscany also produces whites made primarily from Trebbiano and Vernaccia.
There are also many Tuscan Indicazione Geographica Tipica (IGT) wines that are often an innovative blend of traditional and non-traditional grapes. This relatively new appellation status was started in 1992 as an attempt to give an official classification to Italy’s many newer blends that do fit the strict requirements of DOC and DOCG classifications. IGT wines may use the name of the region and varietal on their label or in their name.