Petit Verdot is a high quality red grape variety that originated in Bordeaux in Southwest France. It is well suited to gravely soil such as those found in Bordeaux. It derived its name from “vert,” or green in the sense of unripe. It was traditionally a constituent minor part of Bordeaux blends but increasingly played a lesser role to Merlot and Malbec that ripen earlier. Due to the cool maritime climate in Bordeaux, varietal wines are rare. Petit Verdot is a small berried, thick skinned grape that thrives in warmer wine growing areas.
What is Petit Verdot’s Flavor Profile?
Petit Verdot has a deep purple color with aroma characteristics of black fruit; plum, blackberry, with floral notes of violet, lilac, lavender, sage, and herbs. The grape adds color, tannin, acidity, and savory herbaceous quality to blends. Oak age softens the profile and adds vanilla, nutty notes, and cocoa. With age the wines can demonstrate developed rustic character with smoked meat notes.
In the best vintages, Petit Verdot produces dry full bodied wines with an elegant profile, fresh acidity, fine grain tannin, and persistent length.
In some of the finest examples from regions such as coastal Tuscany in Italy, Petit Verdot plays a part of super Tuscan Blends from world class wines such as Ornellaia among others. Some single varietal examples include Deen Vat 4 from De Bartoli in the Riverina region in Australia, showing approachable wines with primary rich fruit character at the lower price tier of the market.