Palafreno is a monumental Merlot
with an ethereal lightness of touch.
Exclusively released in years
when ripening conditions are
near perfection.

Grape Varieties

  • Merlot
Another stellar wine from Querciabella.
Antonio Galloni Vinous 2020
Merlot magic. Easily the best ever.
James Suckling 2017
Merlot of absolute enological greatness.
Antonello Biancalana DiWine Taste 2016
A Merlot built on exquisite finesse. 94+/100
Antonio Galloni Vinous 2015
Ecstatic enlightenment.
Luigi Veronelli 2003

In certain years all the elements necessary for making superlative wines – sunlight, rainfall, temperature ranges – all come into perfect alignment. In those years, we make Palafreno. 

With the idea of showcasing the real value of our vineyards in Ruffoli, no effort is spared in crafting a superb wine to live up to its namesake – Palafreno refers to a medieval knight’s parade horse. The silky tannins, the beguiling aromas, the length and depth of the finish that develops in pure pleasure over the decades make this a true connoisseur’s wine fitting for the finest collections. 

Among red grapes, Merlot is the one gifted with the broadest range of expressions, from ripe and fruity aromas to complex, supple, full-bodied flavours, and has a strong affinity for wood ageing. In the right hands, it exudes definitive territorial features. The loose galestro schistous clay soils and the southern aspect of the Cipresso and Marrone vineyards allow for a slower ripening which Merlot demands to flourish. Through selective micro-vinification and long maturation, we enhance its texture to perfection.

The inaugural vintages of 2000 and 2001 included Sangiovese in the final cut, in the fashion of other Super Tuscans in the Chianti Classico. 2002 and 2003 were not deemed worthy enough of consideration. It was with 2004 that Palafreno really found its stride as a small batch, 100% Merlot aged in fine-grained barrique, only created in exceptional years. In fact, since its inception, 20 years ago, only nine vintages have been released.

The richness of the varietal well balanced by the terroir-borne acidity makes Palafreno a fantastic contender for the cellar and a phenomenal companion on the table. The exuberant character and long finish of this wine can accompany dishes of rare complexity and unusual combinations of flavours.

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