One of the six Bordeaux grapes, Petit Verdot is generally considered a blending grape due to its late harvest and low yield. Many California winemakers have begun creating Petit Verdot as its own variety, and it is starting to gain esteem as much more than a blending wine. Petit Verdot prefers to be cultivated in a cooler environment than the rest of the Bordeaux grapes and requires a very well draining soil. It has a naturally very high acid and medium sugar to the grape. Petit Verdot has thick skins and high tannin structure that will soften with aging. Petit Verdot has very small berry clusters, and unless the conditions are correct, the fruit will not ripen. Due to the small production yields, aging time, and difficulty growing, Petit Verdot can be very expensive as a stand alone varietal.
Petit Verdot has the aromas of blueberries, violet flowers, tobacco, leather, and green olives, with the flavor of blackberries, plums, herbal nettles, vanilla, and oak. A young Petit Verdot will have a high tannin structure that will soften with barrel aging or in the bottle over time.
Petit Verdot’s high tannin structure makes it an excellent pairing for steak, veal, sausages, grilled meats, lamb, and game.