Betty's Wine Musings

Introducing a Great Petit Verdot

When we think of Petit Verdot, we usually think of a red variety that is mixed in with other red varieties to form a wonderful Bordeaux wine. It’s only in the last 25 or so years that this grape has been made into a standalone wine.


WineShop At Home, the Napa winery I work for, just introduced a beautiful Petit Verdot that I will talk about today, along with the history of this grape.


WineShop At Home's Petit Verdot
WineShop At Home’s Petit Verdot

The History of Petit Verdot

Named for the small size of its berries (the name translates to “little green one”), Petit Verdot is best known as a minor blending grape in the Bordeaux region of France.


In my article from several years ago entitled Petit Verdot, How I Love Thee, I talked about the fact that in France, with the seasons being so short, the grape often doesn’t have a chance to fully ripen. In these cases, none or very little of the grape is included in Bordeaux blends. So, the grape has become much less important in Bordeaux today.

The Standalone Wines

In the 1970s, the grape started to thrive in warmer climates, including Australia, Spain and California, where on an increasing basis it is made into standalone wines (rather than blended wines).


In America, standalone wines can be found in California, Virginia and Washington.


In the state of Washington, Petit Verdot ranks as the variety with the highest average price per ton for a third consecutive vintage. In 2018, that number was $1,675 per ton, edging out another Bordeaux variety – cabernet franc – at $1,618. The average price per ton for cabernet sauvignon, the most widely planted grape in Washington, stood at $1,505.

Key Characteristics

Masterclass has a great write-up about the grape’s characteristics: “The berries are small and their thick skins are full of tannin and color. In warmer climates…, petit verdot expresses itself with floral, black fruit, herbal notes, and gravelly minerality. Wines made from this grape are quite tannic and rich in color and body.”

How the Wine Taste?

Petit verdot wines are full-bodied and have some or all of these notes:

  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Plum
  • Black cherry
  • Violet
  • Lilac
  • Sage
  • Licorice
  • Olives
  • Pencil lead
  • Pepper
  • Sage
  • Cocoa

WineShop At Home’s 2021 Dusk Petit Verdot

This wine is delicious. It comes from a sustainable vineyard in Lodi that we have been working with for several years. This dry red wine has an austere attack and will open up gently for the next few years. The nose offers fruity aromas of blueberry, blackberry, plum and strawberry. The second nose reveals toasted oak, tobacco and cedar notes. The mouthfeel reveals a complex, spicy and herbal mid-palate.

This wine has rich tannins, a medium-to-long length and flavors of cacao and cedar in the finish.

If you’d like to buy a few bottles, please visit this site.


As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!

Cheers, Betty Kaufman
WineShop At Home

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