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Dear Dr. Vinny,
What can you tell me about the wine varietal "Petit Verdot"?
—Jay A., Ocean City, Md.
Petit Verdot is one of the authorized grapes for France's Bordeaux region, though it's used in tiny amounts, usually less than 5 percent of the blend. It's often used as a blending grape in France, California, Chile, Australia and Washington (among others), and is only rarely bottled solo. The Petit Verdot grape is late-ripening, and it contributes a vivid inky color, tannic structure, and a pretty, violet-like fragrance to wine.
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