A red grape variety from Bordeaux, Petit Verdot’s traditional role has been that of a minor partner in blends with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A late ripening variety, Petit Verdot has adapted perfectly to the microclimate of the Agro Pontino valley where bright sunshine, sea breezes and warm soil allow the grape to mature to perfection and to be vinified as a pure varietal – something of a rarity in Italy.
GRAPE VARIETIES AND VINIFICATION TECHNIQUE
100% very ripe Petit Verdot grapes.
During vinification both the ‘submerged cap’ technique and that of ‘punching down’ are adopted; the first is aimed principally at extracting the grape’s softer tannins, the second, its strong colour. Submerged cap fermentation extends over 15 days at a temperature which ranges from 26-28°C. This is followed by ‘délestage’ (rack and return) to further soften the tannins and stabilize the colour. After the new wine has been racked, a part of it undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel, another part in wood. Once blended, the new wine spends from 8-12 months ‘in barrique’ and a further 6 in the bottle before leaving the winery.
*Délestage: is a specific fermentation management process for red wine, also known as rack and return. As the English term suggests, part of the fermenting must is drained (racked) from the fermentation tank into a second container and then returned to the original tank from above. The aim of the process is to aerate the fermenting wine and by distributing the grape skins evenly throughout the tank, facilitate the extraction of their tannins and colour compounds.
This deep crimson wine displays an intense, lingering aroma of red berry fruit, cherry, myrtle and juniper. Elegant and full-bodied, with rich velvety tannins, the wine presents a spicy, white peppery finish.
SUGGESTED FOOD PAIRING
‘Costolette di abbacchio al forno’ – oven roasted lamb cutlets; a popular Roman dish.
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