is a variety of red wine grape, principally used in classic
It ripens much later than the other varieties in Bordeaux,
often too late, so it fell out of favour in its home region.
When it does ripen, it is added in small amounts to add
tannin, colour and flavour to the blend. It has attracted
attention among winemakers in the New World, where it ripens
more reliably and has been made into single varietal wine.
It is also useful in 'stiffening' the mid palate of Cabernet
young its aromas have been likened to banana and pencil
shavings. Strong tones of violet and leather develop as
probably predates Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux, but its origins
are unclear. There are records of it in the eighteenth century, but its
characteristics suggest an origin in much hotter climes than the
It is one
parent of Tressot, the other parent being Duras, a grape from
the upper Tarn valley near Toulouse.
It's possible that both were brought to the region by the Romans
as they moved inland from the Mediterranean.
some blocks of Petit Verdot in Argentina, although for many years
it was labelled as Fer.
included in James Busby's collection of 1832, and it was trialled
by Sir William Macarthur in the 1840s. In 2000 there were 1600 hectares
in Australia with Kingston Estate in South Australia having the
largest planting, four times more than in France. It
is increasingly being used to make massive, brooding, single varietal
wines that will age for several years - Pirramimma has championed
137 ha in 2003.
the Petit Verdot in France is planted in Bordeaux, mostly in the
Medoc where it is used in small amounts to give structure to the
classic Bordeaux blend. However the late ripening means that in
some years the entire crop is lost and it only properly ripens
once every four years, so it has fallen out of favour, particularly
with the trend towards earlier-maturing wine. Chateau Palmer is
unusual in having up to 10% Petit Verdot in its blend, which helps
stiffen the high proportion of Merlot
in their wines. 1-3% is more usual.
In Italy is
sometime cultivated in Maremma (Tuscany) and Lazio. Casale del
Giglio Cave, near Rome, produces a wine based on 100% Petit Verdot.
of Meritage Bordeaux blends has seen considerable interest in
the variety in California, where there was 360 ha in 2003.
The more consistent, warmer climate is a big help in reliably
ripening the grape, and producers are starting to experiment with
single varietals. It is also planted in a small way in Colorado,
Texas, Virginia, Missouri, and Washington.
Vineyards in Carora, Venezuela (a 1980 joint venture between Martell
of France and Polar Breweries of Venezuela now solely run by Polar)
produce a Bodegas Pomar Petit Verdot wine.
to the countries above, Petit Verdot is used as 'seasoning' in
Bordeaux-style blends in British Columbia, New Zealand, South
have 3-5 lobes with a distinctively elongated central lobe. The
small, cylindrical bunches are winged, with small black berries.
The name Petit
Verdot ('small green') refers to one of the main problems with
the grape, that often the berries fail to develop properly without
the right weather during flowering. It also refers to the late
ripening which usually comes too late for the Bordeaux climate.
Petit Verdot also has a peculiar characteristic in that it produces
more than two clusters per shoot.
Heran, Lambrusquet Noir, Petit Verdau, Petit Verdot Noir, Verdot
and Verdot Rouge.
Science of Wine Aroma
the Acids in Wine
(Tannins) in Wine
The Basic Wine Pairing
Science of Food and
a Wine Sommelier
- Robinson, Jancis (2006).
The Oxford Companion to Wine, third edition.
Oxford University Press.
and Wines of the World". The State Library of
South Australia, GPO Box 419, Adelaide SA 5001.
http://www.winelit.slsa.sa.gov.au/grapeswines.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
- Vitis International Variety Catalogue: Tressot Noir, accessed
on December 15, 2009
E.; Eibach, R. (1999-06-00). "Vitis International Variety Catalogue". Information and Coordination
Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) of the Federal
Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), Deichmanns
Aue 29, 53179 Bonn, Germany. http://www.genres.de/idb/vitis/. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
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