Originating in Bordeaux in France, Petit Verdot is an ancient but relatively obscure grape variety best known for its use in classic Bordeaux blends. Petit Verdot is now cultivated worldwide, including the USA, Chile, Argentina and Australia, where its fruity yet floral flavour makes it a popular grape variety in wine blends.
Where is Petit Verdot grown?
As a late-ripening grape, Petit Verdot has struggled to reach full phenolic ripeness in the cooler climates of France, where it originates. Single varietal wines are therefore rare, with Petit Verdot grapes commonly used to add colour and tannins in Bordeaux blends, alongside Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Carmenère.
Now cultivated in New World regions with longer growing seasons and warmer temperatures, it has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity among winemakers.
Australian regions growing Petit Verdot include:
- McLaren Vale
- Barossa Valley
- Langhorne Creek
- Petit Verdot wine style and character
Petit Verdot red wines have high acidity and tannins and are high in alcohol (around 14.5%). The dark, thick-skinned grapes result in full-bodied red wines that are almost always dry.
Our best Petit Verdot wines
Wines made using Petit Verdot tend to be fruity yet floral, rich in dark fruit flavours like plums, blackberries and cherries, joined by delicate floral and herbal aromas of sage, lavender and lilac.
Petit Verdot wine can differ slightly depending on the growing climate of the grape. In warmer temperatures, the wine is often jammy and fruity with flavours of blueberries, violets and plums. In cooler climates, it will taste tart with flavours of unripe blueberries, blackberries and herbs.
Due to its high tannin content, Petit Verdot ages very well, which can alter its style. When oak-aged, the wine’s dark fruit flavours are usually accompanied by hints of hazelnut, vanilla and chocolate aromas.
Wines created by grapes as bold as Petit Verdot pair beautifully with rich meats such as lamb. It also works well with grilled or barbecued dishes, including burgers, chicken wings and sausages.
For vegetarians, Petit Verdot wines also work beautifully with mushrooms, black bean and kidney bean dishes.
How to serve
Petite Verdot wines are best served at about room temperature (between 15-20°C).
An oversized red wine glass will allow the wine to breathe, highlighting more aromas and tasty flavours.