Monday, January 18, 2010

101-14 Mgt

E. Archer

Oorsprong: Kruising tussen V. riparia en V. rupestris deur professor Millardet in samewerking met die markies de Grasset (Millardet = M; de Grasset = gt: Mgt).

Spruitpunt: Geslote; bootvormig; bleek groen; steunblare lank en kleurloos

Jong blare: Lig tot gelerig groen; effe koperkleurig; geplooi; effe donserig behaard op die nerwe aan die onderkant van die blaar.

Volwasse blare: Wigvormig; riparia-agtig; neig na drie-lobbig; terminale tande van die hoofnerwe is lank; oppervlakte effe geplooi tot gegolf; borselhare aan die onderkant op die hoofnerwe; liggroenerig gekleur; bladsteelsinus baie oop U-vormig; bladstele ligrooi gekleur en naak tot effe borselharig.

Blomme: Morfologies hermafrodiet, fisiologies vroulik; gee oorsprong aan klein, swart trossies met klein ronde korrels; pitte het byna geen nekkies nie.

Somerlote: Fyn geriffeld; naak; persrooi; kort internodiums; relatiewe vroeë blaarval.

Winterlote: Fyn geriffeld; fyn borselhare op nodiums; ligvaal tot donker vaal met opvallend lig strooikleurige vaatbondelriwwe; nodiums nie baie prominent; klein gepunte ogies.

Verbouing: Medium groeiende onderstok met n relatief kort vegetatiewe periode wat gebruik kan word wanneer vroeër rypwording verlang word; goed aangepas op vlakkerige dupleksgronde; lae bestandheid teen aktiewe kalk (9% vry kalk); baie goed bestand teen filloksera; goed bestand teen knopwortelaalwurm; vatbaar vir Phytophthora wortelverrotting; goed tot baie goed natbestand redelik goed droogtebestand; goed brakbestand; goeie wortelvormingsvermoë; goeie affiniteit word met hittebehandelde materiaal verkry; matige groeikrag word in die bo-cultivars geinduseer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Petit Verdot

Professor Alain CARBONNEAU
Agro.M, Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Vigne et du Vin,
Building 28 / 2 place Pierre Viala, F-34060 Montpellier cedex 1
Tel (+33) (0) 4 99 61 23 60 I Fax (+33) (0) 4 99 61 30 43 / e-mail:

Petit Verdot is a grape variety of which is spoken more and more global. Its success is justified by the typical and exceptional quality of its wines. Here, through testimonials, is the experience that I could acquire.
The discovery (1970 - 1980)
Like many, I discovered Petit Verdot in the Médoc thanks to the local winemakers. In the years 1970 - 1980, Petit Verdot was considered as marginal cultivar, occasionally complementing Cabernet Sauvignon, when added to re-balance the acidity in major subassemblies for long aging, while respecting the typical dominant major cultivars like Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot in which the first partner had precedence. The growers insisted that this cultivar was true to its name, reflecting its particularity to give small acidic berries with uncertain maturity.
However, some wine experts, like Marcel Ducasse at the Chateau Lagrange in St. Julien, reasoned that Petit Verdot deserved better than 2 to 3% of a blend in certain vintages, they were convinced the wine of this variety brought many more qualities than adjusting the pH meter! Thus, the percentage of Petit Verdot was raised, sometimes up to 15% in some blends. Similarly, Petit Verdot, leaving his status of a marginal cultivar, was planted in soil themselves not marginal, and suddenly we realized that this variety could ripen regularly, so that usually at the Chateau Lagrange it is harvested before the Cabernet Sauvignon. This consideration of Petit Verdot as a full-fledge cultivar, even if it was considered as and addition to major cultivars, has grown, for example, when we developed an experimental lyre vineyard in the Mouton Rothschild Pauillac area, Petit Verdot was chosen with Cabernet Sauvignon, and the sensory analysis of the tank Petit Verdot - Lyre were particularly revealing.
Renewed (1980 - 1990)
Agricultural Progress and Wine, 2009, 126, No. 22The renewed interest in this variety grew stronger with the increasing frequency of easier maturing years, a phenomenon which had its origin in the 1980s after a series of difficult years in the 1970s, and it established permanently in the 1990s, this last vintage which probably marked the spirits in that sense. Climate change, now recognized as responsible for these climate series, which are no longer regarded as exceptional, is certainly the cause of the Petit Verdot global response in maturation. So, there is the double issue of increasing the percentage of Petit Verdot in its stronghold of cultural origin, and her adaptation of warmer climates than the Medoc or Bordeaux in general and in particular adaptation to Mediterranean vineyards.
The rest of this study had been anticipated by some winemakers - the pioneers, especially in California. The second experience I had with Petit Verdot was in 1980 in the Sonoma Valley at Simi Winery with Zelma Long. I discovered on this occasion that this variety was capable of producing a very rich wine all by itself and that it required special monitoring in the vineyard because of its greater sensitivity to drought than Cabernet Sauvignon. A few years later, in Adelaide, at a conference organized by Australian wine industry, I witnessed the attention to the words of Denis Dubourdieu extolling the merits of Petit Verdot in Bordeaux blends, and the virtues of such a 'French touch' in the typicality of a great wine. In the world of wine quality, as in the large kitchen, many people pay attention to the recipe or the 'je ne sais quoi' responsible for the success. The fact is that even if this event had perhaps a local effect, he enrolled in a course of development of Petit Verdot globally in the years 1990 to 2000.
Globalization (1990 - 2000)
Now that many winemakers tried planting Petit Verdot, it is a qualitative goal of excellence to produce 'crus' or the purpose of diversification of blended wines or the cultivar. I know many successful examples in the world: California, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Sicily, Spain, Lebanon and even Egypt!
The Languedoc was not far behind. Some growers believed in it and were not disappointed by the quality of wine and there was some normal reluctance as it is a difficult cultivar to trellis or control its fertility (up to 4 small bunches per shoot!), But undoubtedly Petit Verdot has made a major source of diversification in the sense of high quality wines. In this context, I always remember the remark Boubal Denis in 1993 when he answered my question "Should we not really develop the Petit Verdot in Languedoc? >>, Which probably summarizes both the skills of the great variety and the difficulty of promoting a widespread upgrading policy, all colored with a southern humor: "The Petit Verdot? He is too good! ... >>. In Languedoc, I would cite the Nizas domaine in the middle valley of the Herault, supervised by Bernard Portet, who was very successful with this varietal.
Agricultural Progress and Wine, 2009, 126, No. 22In Provence, I salute the courage and dynamism of a Swiss winemaker, Jean-Daniel Schlaepfer, which produces in the region of Les Baux de Provence in his Lauzières domaine, has an exceptional wine based on Petit Verdot, the qualities that I attribute to this vineyard are justified by its pioneer, since he took the double risk in the early 1990s, to planted in this particularly Mediterranean region, Petit Verdot on a Lyre trellising system.
Great wine connoisseurs and advisers have also brought their personal touch. In particular, Michel Rolland in Madrid in 2000, during a conference on wine production of 3 millennium, he called, beside the traditional wines, developing innovation and creativity to the emergence of new wines thus, he had taken as a success story among the many wineries that it is the adviser, a cellar of Castile producing an original blend of 'Shiraz - Petit Verdot'! I can also testify to having been carried out in Languedoc, made by harmonic choice.
You will understand, Petit Verdot is now planted all over the world in vineyards that often has semi-desert climate. It produces great wines, and we regularly praise their exceptional color purple, the finesse of their tannins, their extraordinary range of flavors combining persistent floral notes, spicy notes, and notes of ripe berries. It would be interesting at this stage of analyze the sensory characteristics by terroirs.
Beyond what may be a consensus, namely the great potential of Petit Verdot and its adaptive plasticity, it is still a paradox: how can this be reconciled with the fact that this variety has been finally 're-discovered' recently after a long period where no one recognized its universal qualities? How can such a variety observed closely, is one of the closest that we know to the lambrusques or wild grapes, and stating that it probably was very little selected by man over the centuries' s proves he possess such gifts, although some items such as excess fertility remain to be improved? How is it possible that this cultivar, from the South-West or the piedmont Pyrenean (origin of the first clone No. 400) of France with a very special climate, ‘travel' so well? A paradox that need more explanation.....