Petit Verdot

Australian Petit Verdot wine regional and flavour profile



Petit Verdot tastes and aromas

Flavours of lavender, rosewater, musk, violets, fruity banana esters, fennel seed/star anise and white blossoms, alongside sweet ripe red and black berry notes

Petit Verdot mouthfeel

Medium to full bodied, firm tannins and medium acidity

Petit Verdot cellaring potential

When aged, Petit Verdot takes on secondary fruit flavours, with the fruity floral flavours developing into deeper “moreish” characters or Christmas cake and plum pudding, with notes of liquorice, graphite/lead pencil, cola, sweet beetroot reduction, blood plum, blueberry and leather.

Facts about Petit Verdot

  • Petit Verdot 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 climates than the Gironde (region where Bordeaux is located).
  • It is one parent of the grape 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
  • Though Petit Verdot is commonly linked with the Bordeaux region, it is the least known and least grown of the Bordeaux red grape variety. The other four Bordeaux reds are Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Malbec and Merlot.
  • The variety ripens almost 2 weeks to a month later than Shiraz, an in Australia it is picked fairly late in the harvest, usually around late May.
  • The flavour profile of a Petite Verdot can mimic a shiraz, and is often used as a blending wine to enhance the tannin, body and flavours of other wines.
  • When grown in ideal conditions, the acidity of the grape is tart, and the deep, rich colours and tannins are due to the thick skins of the grape.

Australian regions that produce Petit Verdot

The variety has a growing reputation in Australia, and the Riverland region is home to Australia’s largest plantings of Petite Verdot, followed by the Murray Valley and Riverina, however Petit Verdot’s ability to retain its acidity in these warm climates is the key to its success. Notable plantings can also be found in McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and the Limestone Coast.

What food to pair with Petit Verdot

When pairing Petit Verdot with food, keep the acid and tannin level of the variety in mind. Rich and strongly flavoured foods are the best accompaniments. Experiment with barbequed lamb chops, pork spare ribs, duck and other rich meats. Hearty casseroles and mature cheeses also work well.

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