The Petit Verdot grape is best known for its role in Bordeaux, where it adds colour, fragrance and tannin to several top Médoc wines. On its own, it’s generally a bit too assertive, deep and rich, the sort of wine you sometimes wish would go away and learn to be a bit quieter. Or at least that’s what I used to think. The last few months have thrown up some examples to challenge this opinion, from places as far apart as Portugal (Azamor***), Chile (Von Siebenthal) and in this instance southern France, courtesy of the ever-reliable Domaine La Condamine L’Évêque. It has that violet-tinged PV perfume, and a refreshing, earthy core of blackcurrant where others have rather blobby, overripe berry flavours. Full of character, yet weighing in at a svelte 12.5% alcohol, it’s a good buy at £6.15 from Jeroboams.
*** The Azamor web link is here, but be warned, it’s one of those sites awash with totally unnecessary Flash animation. For anyone apart from web designers, Flash is a complete waste of time and effort, narcissistic and annoying in the extreme. French, Italian and Spanish sites tend to be the worse, but this site, complete with Cupid firing a corckscrew-tipped arrows, can compete in the why-do-they-bother stakes.