Something to Wine About: 2019 Sannino Spotlight Petit Verdot


If petit Verdot was an actor, it would usually be relegated to a supporting role in an ensemble production of a Bordeaux or a Bordeaux-style wine. There are instances however where the varietal is given center stage and a chance to shine. The 2019 Sannino Spotlight Petit Verdot is a perfect example of a stunning petit Verdot finally starring in its own production. 

The wine is actually 90% petit Verdot and 10% cabernet sauvignon and a most luscious example of petit Verdot. It’s silky smooth with soft, full, round tannins. Notes of ripe cherry and mocha on the nose and palate make for a truly decadent petit Verdot. 

The wine is partially fermented in oak. According to winemaker Anthony Sannino, “The short period of fermentation time (approximately 2 weeks) is usually in neutral vessels like steel, but with the petit Verdot, I did use a large format barrel to ferment a small portion, but all of the wine is then aged in various barrels” for 24 months before bottling. 

Sannino added, “The wine was aged in 40% new French oak, 40% 1, 2, or 3 year old French oak, and the balance 20% neutral French and Hungarian oak. This is the approach I take with most of my red wines.” 

Interesting to note, Hungarian oak barrels have been used for winemaking for centuries in Hungary. But the last few years there’s been a surge in Hungarian oak barrels being used in wine regions all over the world. California buys a large percentage of the Hungarian oak barrels produced, but the barrels can also be found in South Africa, Italy, and France. And obviously, New York. According to research, Hungarian oak gives wine a lovely soft texture. 

The 2019 Sannino Spotlight Petit Verdot retails for $40. Pictured is the 2015. The 2019 vintage was sampled.

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