Petit Verdot: Yes, Bordeaux Can Be a Bargain | Wine Enthusiast
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Petit Verdot

About Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot is a red grape native to the Bordeaux region of France. This grape is most famous for being one of the accepted grapes allowed in Bordeaux red wine, a blend that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Carmenère. Recently, winemakers in some New World wine regions have broadened the variety’s applications, using them to produce single-varietal wines.

In the vineyard, the thick-skinned grapes ripen to purple, although their problems with ripening has led to their identity as “Petit Verdot,” or “little green.”

This late-ripening grape can thrive in cool climates with mineral soils, although recent plantings and winemaking suggest that it does better in warmer environments. Some 18th-century records suggest that the grape originates from farther south in France, which might explain the trouble it often has when it comes to full ripening in cooler areas.

The most recognizable descriptors used when it comes to Petit Verdot are dark fruits like blackberry and plum and herbal and purple flower notes. Upon aging, wines made from—or including—Petit Verdot also assume secondary notes of leather and mocha.

In addition to France—where the grape is still used in some Bordeaux blends, though it has fallen out of favor with many producers—Petit Verdot is now grown in Argentina, Australia, Chile, Italy, Peru, Portugal, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Long Island, Mexico, Washington, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Synonyms: Bouton, Carmelin, Lambruesquet Noir, Heran, Carmelin, Petit Verdau, Petit Verdot Noir, Verdot and Verdot Rouge.

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