Home > Bordeaux, Grapes, Petit Verdot, wine quiz > Weekly Wine Quiz #78: Grape Trivia – Petit Verdot

Weekly Wine Quiz #78: Grape Trivia – Petit Verdot

October 19, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments
Petit Verdot, as shown in Wikipedia

Petit Verdot, as shown in Wikipedia

The Wine Quiz series is not meant to intimidate. The whole idea here is to have fun and learn something new. When answering the questions, it is fully encouraged to use all available sources of information, including Google or any other search engine. There are no embarrassing answers – the most embarrassing thing is not giving it a try…

Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!

We are continuing our grape trivia series, and we are back to the red grapes!  Today’s subject is Petit Verdot.

Origins of Petit Verdot are unknown, and according to one of the theories, the grape came to Bordeaux region in France with ancient Romans. Petit Verdot is a very tricky grape in the vineyard – its early budding makes it susceptive to the early spring dangers, such as frost. Its very late ripening puts it in danger of the same frost and some of the diseases, At the same time, small berry with thick skin offers a lot of concentrated tannins and structure when it ripens properly.

This tricky behavior in the vineyard with tendency to underripe, results in Petit Verdot sometimes even not included in the final blend in Bordeaux wines. However, the grape behaves a lot more consistently in the warmer climates. Petit Vedot made it to Australia in 1800s, and it is successfully growing in most of the wine making countries around the world (Spain, Italy, US, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand), producing the best results in the warmer climates. in the US, it is growing in many regions across the country, from New York to Texas to California to Oregon. At its best, Petit Verdot produces dense, powerful, concentrated and age-worthy wines.

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: Explain the meaning of the name Petit Verdot

Q2: Name four grapes, main blending partners of Petit Verdot in France

Q3: True or False: Australia’s plantings of Petit Verdot far exceed the plantings of Petit Verdot in France

Q4: While Petit Verdot is a difficult grape to work with, two events were major contributors to the demise of Petit Verdot in Bordeaux. Can you name those two events?

Q5: While it is not impossible to find a pure 100% Petit Verdot wines made in Bordeaux, those wines are rather the exceptions. What is the typical percentage of Petit Verdot in Bordeaux blends?

Bonus question: what was your personal encounter with Petit Verdot? Do you have any memorable bottles?

Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!

  1. October 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Going out on a limb being the first but..
    1) little green something
    2) pet Syrah, cab, merlot, Syrah?
    3) true
    4) phylloxera and a drought?
    5) 8%

    • talkavino
      October 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Thanks for playing, Alissa, very good work! My answers are coming on Wednesday.

  2. Patrick kleiner
    October 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Hi Anatoly,

    Here are my answers to this interesting quiz
    Q1: Petit Verdot means “little greeny”
    Q2: cabernet sauvignon, cabernert franc, malbec, merlot
    Q3: true
    Q4: Petit Verdot Reserve Celebration Organizer: Barboursville Vineyards
    Snipe Canyon Vineyard in Snipes Canyon AVA (eastern end of Yakima Valley….just west of Red Mountain.)
    Q5: sometimes 5%, but very often only 1-3%
    P.s unfortunately, do not remember if I ever tasted this grape in a curvee, but will definitely do.


    • talkavino
      October 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Patrick, welcome and thanks for playing! You have all great answers, but can you please clarify a bit you answer #4?

    • Patrick kleiner
      October 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      Sorry, had misunderstood q4 in the morning:-) here’s my update for q4:
      Q4: quite a bit of Petit Verdot in The Left Bank was removed after the devastating attack of phylloxera in the late 1800′s. What little Petit Verdot remained was once again removed from the vineyards in Bordeaux following the frost of 1956

      • talkavino
        October 21, 2013 at 12:29 am

        Excellent correction, Patrick! The answers are coming on Wednesday.

  3. October 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Ha, my grape! I’ve raved about this grape on my blog many times. So here I go!

    1. Little green because it ripens late.
    2. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz
    3. True. I had plenty of 100% Petit Verdot wines in Australia
    4. phylloxera in the late 80s and the frost in 1956
    5. 1 to 3% but the percentage has increased in the recent years because of the attracrion of its fruity and floral flavours and beautiful purple colour. For example, Chateau La Garricq has 13% petit verdot, which is the highest in Bordeaux blends I’ve tasted. But there is 100% petit verdot wine in Bordeaux, which is Papin Le Petit Verdot 2009.

    That’s all!

    • talkavino
      October 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Excellent answers Namie! Thanks for playing!

  4. October 19, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Ah, a memorable bottle….i have lovely memories with Kingston Petit Verdot in Australia.

  5. October 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    I was going to guess 3 first but thought it sounded too little. Should trust my instincts.

    • talkavino
      October 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      I’ve done this many times! We all need to learn to trust ourselves : )

  6. PSsquared
    October 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I’m glad you’re back to the reds. 🙂

    • talkavino
      October 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Yep, will do the reds for a while : )

  7. October 20, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    1) petit – little something – maybe little bunch of green
    2)Cab sav, Merlot, cab franc, Malbec
    3) the question cannot be if the answer us not True. Hard to believe but I have seen some predominantly PV wines from Oz.
    4) phylloxera and the election of George’s Pompadou in 1969 (I think). George’s was opposed to the proposition that The republic should allow anything petit.
    5) really small percentages – I’d say 5% max
    Bonus: My only knowing brush with PV is in Bordeaux, particularly one of my favs, Ch. Duhart-Milon which has just a smidge of PV in most years. Would love to try a single varietal of PV to get the sense of it.
    Thanks. Will try and find an Aussie version of this as mentioned above.

    • talkavino
      October 21, 2013 at 12:25 am

      Great work! The answers are coming on Wednesday.

  8. October 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

    A bit late to the party, I see!
    1). Little green (has trouble ripening some years
    2). Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Malbec.
    3). True.
    4). Phylloxera in late 1800’s and the frost of 1956.
    5). Less than 5% typically. There are just a few in Bordeaux that make 100% PV, including Chateau Moutte Blanc Moisin.

    As for a personal story? I had (what I believe was) a barrel sample of PV at Trefethen many years back and all I remember was thinking “this is why they use it as a blending grape!”

    • talkavino
      October 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Very nice work, Jeff!

  9. October 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    1. Little/small green
    2. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec
    3. True.
    4. According to thewinecellarinsider.com phylloxera in the late 1800′s and frost in 1956.
    5. Up to 5%.

    • talkavino
      October 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Excellent work, Julian!

  1. November 30, 2013 at 9:03 am
  2. June 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

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