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03 November 2005

PV, Grape of the Hot Hot Heat?

SaveursaviorThe Caveman makes a mighty interesting observation:

"Once again I was confronted with the jesus grape of warm climates. Tired of jube jube fruit bombs, those heavy and chewy new world cabs that scream for just a touch more acidity? Well open your arms and embrace the Petit Verdot. While only a minor player in Bordeaux (where it only fully ripens in the best of years), I have come across it in California, Spain and now Italy, and more than a few warm weather vintners have remarked to me how difficult it is to over-ripen. Call it the acidifier, the structurizer, the fresherizer, call it what you will, but yesterday, it was the vintage savior (saver)"

Could it be that in the era of ginormous fruit bombs and 15% alcohol-laden knockouts-in-a-glass, that Petit Verdot may soak in all the heat & raisinating UV rays and still produce a wine with some restraint and structure?  I've no idea, yet the thought of an added dimension in otherwise superbold, superfruity wine is intriguing.  Has anyone out there tasted a new world wine with a notable percentage (more than 10%) of P. Verdot in the blend?  We must investigate...


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bill CaVeMan

Great idea bringing this question to the masses.. Huge might have an idea to how widespread it is in cali... I know of one Paso Robles wine, L’Aventure 2001, Estate Cuvée, Stephan Vineyard, which had 30% PV with Syrah and Cabernet... Super Yummy... new world and elegant all that the same time.


I know that a lot of wineries here have it planted but it's used mostly in small percentages.

Last spring I did taste some finished PV in barrel at Paumanok. I told the winemaker that I thought he should do a varietal bottling. He jokingly (I think) said he was considering it.

I'll have to check around and see if anyone is using more than 10%...I think I vaguely remember one blend that had at least that in there...but I can't be sure.


Good suggestion Bill. I just sent Huge an email asking him for some PV-prominent producers & recommendations.

Dave Brookes

There are quite a few straight Petit Verdot's produced over here in Oz.

P.V.'s from Pirramimma, Leconfield and Andersons are probably the pick of the bunch. I've found some of them a pit pruney and hot on the finish though and prefer the flesh the variety provides to Cabernet based blends




Thanks for the tips Dave. Hopefully I'll be able to find at least one of these wines - I'm quite interested in trying a few examples of prominent PV.


Beau - Just getting to your email from last week.

Geyser Peak had a '99 which did well in competitions last year.

Romeo Vineyards (Calistoga) had a Napa PV @ the Family Winemakers (didn't taste it)

Milano had a Bells Echo Mendo PV out that had a Bronze @ SF & a Silver @ CA State fair...only $22/btl

Imagery Estate had a '00 that got 2 silver medals (Pacific Rim & La County comp's) - be careful here, they may have Brett ;) and it was listed @ $33/btl for a SoCo PV ! which seems kinda high to me...

(I've got your "slightly-bretty" bottle and I'll try it this weekend)



Some really interesting PVs have been getting produced in Virginia recently. I would have to say that the producers still seems to be tinkering for a style, but Chrysalis Vineyards, Am Rhein, Jefferson, Rappahanock, Oakencroft, and White Hall have all produced enjoyable PVs. (Avoid the 2003s. Rappahanock's is the most elegant; Chrysalis's the biggest.)


Nicolobo - Thanks for the heads up. I had no idea the Virginia producers are experimenting with PV. I've dabbled a bit in Virginia Viognier and quite enjoyed myself. I'll start searching for some PV from VA. Cheers - beau

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