Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Petit Verdot

Petit Verdot is a very old, well-established cultivar from the Médoc in France. Due to the good colour and tannin structure it is mostly used as a blending partner. 

Petit Verdot is a late ripening cultivar that only ripens fully in the warmer vintages of Bordeaux. The plantings in France declined from 685 hectares in 1958 to the current 380 hectares due to its inconvenient late ripening. 

Under the warmer South African conditions, Petit Verdot ripens late mid season (end of February to middle March) with average vigour and good production. In Stellenbosch the average production is 5-7 kg/vine with a must acidity of 7-9 g/l at 23-25 ºB. The bunches are average to large and the berries are even smaller than those of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The three clones available in South Africa, PR 400, PR 8719 and PR 1058 are all from French origin. PR 400 and PR 8719 are very fertile and crop control is necessary. The wines are concentrated, tannic and rich in colour with spicy, peppery flavours.

PR 1058 from ENTAV has lower fertility and below average production with full balanced wines and good colour.

 Clone comparison of of Petit Verdot N

- Appellation: Médoc- Rootstock: 101-14 MGt

- Soil: sandy

- Planting density: 6500 vines per hectare


Clone 1058 is less productive because it is less fertile than clone 400. Clone 158 provides the richest wines in total polyphenols with a higher color intensity. The evaluation was performed on an early ripening site. In another site in a cooler terroir, 1058 was ripening much later than clone 400 and has struggled to ripen properly