Something to Wine About: Sannino Vineyard 2019 Spotlight Petit Verdot

Sannino Vineyard's petite verdot (2015 pictured, but 2019 was sampled for this review)
Sannino Vineyard’s petite verdot (2015 pictured, but 2019 was sampled for this review)

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. Sannino Vineyard’s 2019 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 two 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.” The wine is aged for 24 months before bottling.

Sannino says, “The wine was aged in 40% new French oak, 40% 1-, 2-, 3-year-old French oak, and the balance 20% neutral French and Hungarian oak.” He adds, “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.

This wine retails for $40. Pictured is the 2015 vintage. The 2019 vintage was sampled.

For more information about Sannino Vineyard wines and the family-owned vineyard, visit

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