Petit Verdot, when ripe, will add tannins, color and flavor to a wine. The principle use for Petit Verdot is in classic Bordeaux blends if it ripens in time. When young, its aroma is likened to wood shavings and banana, while with age leather and violet tones tends to develop.
The name of Petit Verdot refers to a main problem with the grape. (Petit Verdot – “little green one”} Often the berries will fail to develop properly (normally because it did not get the right weather during flowering) The name also refers to the late ripening of the grape which is more often than not, usually too late for the Bordeaux climate. One peculiar characteristic of the grape is that it produces more than two clusters per shoot.
Petit Verdot is a full-bodied red wine with aromas of mostly black fruit flavors like blueberry, blackberry and plum. Some of the Petit Verdot flavors are herbal and floral notes. Lavender, violet, lilac, dried herbs and sage are common.
Wine producers like to age the wine in oak to soften it and add flavors of hazelnut and vanilla. Occasionally the wine can be a bit smoky and rustic. On the palate the wine is dry with high tannins but dry with bold fruit and a medium acidity. In some regions producers will over crop the vine which produces a lighter and softer wine with smooth tannins.
Petit Verdot goes well with meats like lamb, roast pork and barbecued meats. Spices or herbs that go well with the wine are, sage, mint, rosemary, all spice, black/white pepper, smoked paprika and cinnamon. Complimentary vegetables include mushrooms, lentils, beans (kidney, black) olives, eggplant, onion, wild rice and cranberries.