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.
- 2010 Haut-MédocThienpont Selection Haut-Médoc0.75l Red€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.
- 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.
- 2014 Château FonbelSaint-Émilion Grand Cru0.75l Red€17.00 €14.05This 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.
- 2018 Château FonbelSaint-Émilion Grand Cru0.75l RedPrimeur€18.69 €15.45What a great performer this wine is! Produced by the Vauthier family and lying on the opposite slope from their iconic Ausone, this year the blend for the wine is 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Carmenère. It has a dark purple colour, nice juiciness, with aromas of plums and fruit salad on the nose; on the attack it is pretty, composed and fresh with spicy black fruit, precision and lots of vivacity. There is a good zippy finish with nice purity and power. The quantity is down by 30% because of mildew. Drink 2022-2030