One of the grapes used in the Bordeaux blend, Petit Verdot has seen resurgence due to global warming. It had been abandoned for several decades because it was a late ripening grape variety that never managed to get fully mature. However, in the last 20 years, it has made a come back and contributes spice, colour and depth. It is found chiefly in the Médoc where it makes up part of the blend at such classified growths as La Lagune, Lagrange, Margaux and Pichon Lalande.
Petit Verdot is well suited to gravelly, well-drained soils and produces small berries with thick skins. It has gained popularity in Tuscany recently where it is used in top blends in Maremma and as a single varietal. The grape is also successful in the New World in California, Argentina, Australia and South Africa where it is increasingly being used as a single varietal.
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- 2013 Château FonbelSaint-Émilion Grand Cru0.375l Red€8.09 €6.69Vibrant and deeply coloured. Juicy and fresh on the nose with crisp acidity and aromas of prunes and damsons. The palate has flavours of red fruit with pretty notes of spice. A good richness and fine soft structure.
- 2012 Château FonbelSaint-Émilion Grand Cru0.375l Red€9.15 €7.56The unusual blend (60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Carménère) coupled with an increasingly rigorous selection process give this ‘little’ Saint Emilion, which comes from the same stable as Ausone, an abundance of personality and finesse. It is very inviting and fresh with pretty roundness and well-structured tannins. It makes lovely drinking when young. The unusual blend (60% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Carménère) coupled with an increasingly rigorous selection process give this ‘little’ Saint Emilion, which comes from the same stable as Ausone, an abundance of personality and finesse. It is very inviting and fresh with pretty roundness and well-structured tannins. It makes lovely drinking when young.
- 2010 Haut-MédocThienpont Selection Haut-Médoc0.75l RedBio€9.99 €8.26We tasted a lot samples before discovering this very pretty Haut-Médoc which we have included in our ‘sélection THIENPONT’, our list of favourite Bordeaux appellations. We are delighted by the price and quality of this estate, which is ideally situated between communes of Margaux and Moulis. Organically cultivated with a blend of 53% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine is matured in oak for 1 year. Attractive deep purple colour with hints of violet. The nose, at first restrained, develops with dark fruit and vanilla notes. The palate is supple with a powerful texture, lots of finesse and tightly-knit, fine-grained tannins. Notes of black fruits, imparted by Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, are nicely balanced and suplemented by the plump roundness of Merlot.
- 2014 Château FonbelSaint-Émilion Grand Cru0.375l Red€10.30 €8.51This little Saint Emilion cru made by the Vauthier family with 80% Merlot grapes is very pretty and expressive this year. It is an easy drinking wine with attractive red fruit character. Notes of red cherry and plums on the palate, good crunchy acidity, quite firm tannins. This is a very easy wine to like.
- Saint-Julien0.375l Red€13.10 €10.83Probably the best loved second wine in Bordeaux, this vintage suits Les Fiefs and brings out the juicy, Cabernet fruit of this successful St. Julian estate. Medium rich, bright, crimson colour, soft and grapey on the attack, with good spice and flavours of black cherries, blackberry and tobacco. There is nice weight on the palate and good, round tannins.
- Saint-Julien0.375l Red€14.60 €12.07The second wine of Lagrange always has a popular following. The 2014 is very bright and fresh with lots of red fruit character and a touch of spice. It is pretty, fruity and and lively with nice persistence and good acidity. Not very dense, this is an attractive wine for easy drinking over the next four or five years.
- 2013 Château FonbelSaint-Émilion Grand Cru0.75l Red€15.00 €12.40Vibrant and deeply coloured. Juicy and fresh on the nose with crisp acidity and aromas of prunes and damsons. The palate has flavours of red fruit with pretty notes of spice. A good richness and fine soft structure.
- 2016 Chateau Ormes de PezSaint-Estèphe0.375l Red€15.73 €13.00Across the board, the wines from St. Estèphe are a success this year, benefitting from the long growing season. One of the leading cru bourgeois of the appellation, this Cazes-owned wine is really attractive. Dark intense colour, creamy and soft in the nose with lots of dark berried fruit, sweet on the attack, full and fresh, lovely roundness, lots of fruit which mixes well with the tannins. A success.