Your Wine IQ

Petit Verdot

International Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon   Merlot   Pinot Noir   Syrah

Major Varieties: Cabernet Franc    Grenache    Malbec    Nebbiolo    Sangiovese    Tempranillo    Zinfandel

Regional Varieties:   Baga    Barbera    Blaufränkisch    Brachetto    Carignan    Carménère    Cinsaut    Dolcetto    Gamay    Graciano    Lagrein    Malvasia Nera    Marzemino    Montepulciano    Mourvèdre    Nero d'Avola    Petit Verdot    Petite Sirah    Pinot Meunier    Pinotage    Touriga Nacional

Petit Verdot is a French grape, most prominently used in small percentages in classic Bordeaux-style red blends. When correctly harvested and vinified, it can add tannin, color, and flavors to the blend. These flavors are often likened with bananas when young, but when older turn to leather and violet. Châteaux such as Cantemerle and Palmer, just to name two, use small amounts of Petit Verdot in their blend, but the grape has largely fallen out of flavor in France.

The grape has spread to Australia, where the wines made from it are bold and ageable. Australian Petit Verdot should be aged for 5-10 years or more. Argentina, Chile, Italy (where it is called Maremma), and Venezuela also have small plantings of Petit Verdot. Many of these plantings are used for Bordeaux blends. California hosts a great deal of Petit Verdot, and the climate there is promising for the production of varietal Petit Verdot.