WSET3 Palate Notes

Body - Medium,
Acid - High,
Tannin - Low,
Alcohol - Medium.

Tastes Like: Apricot, Peach, Orange blossom

Petit Manseng is a white grape variety originating from the South West of France, particularly in the Jurançon region. Known for its high acidity and aromatic complexity, Petit Manseng produces wines that range from dry to sweet, with a distinctive profile of tropical and stone fruits. This grape is cherished for its ability to retain acidity even in warmer climates, making it a versatile option for winemakers.

What You Can Expect to Taste and Smell

Petit Manseng wines are celebrated for their vibrant and rich aromatic profile. On the nose, you can expect to encounter intense notes of apricot, peach, and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, complemented by floral hints of orange blossom and honeysuckle. On the palate, these wines typically exhibit a medium body with high acidity, creating a lively and refreshing experience. The flavors mirror the aromas, with added layers of honey, almond, and exotic spices in sweeter styles.

Comparison of Cool vs Warm Climates

In cooler climates, Petit Manseng tends to produce wines with pronounced acidity and more delicate, refined fruit flavors. These wines often exhibit a crisp, clean profile with citrus and green apple notes, alongside the characteristic apricot and peach.

In warmer climates, Petit Manseng develops riper, more concentrated fruit flavors, with enhanced tropical fruit notes and a richer, fuller body. The high acidity remains a hallmark, balancing the sweetness in dessert wines and adding freshness to dry styles.

Key Regions and Name Some Appellations or Producers of Note

Key Regions:

  • France: The primary home of Petit Manseng, particularly in Jurançon and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh.
  • New Zealand: Emerging as a notable region for producing high-quality Petit Manseng with vibrant acidity.

Notable Producers:

  • Domaine Cauhapé (France): Renowned for its range of dry and sweet Petit Manseng wines.
  • Clos Lapeyre (France): A leading producer in the Jurançon region, known for its expressive Petit Manseng.
  • Millton Vineyards (New Zealand): Producing exceptional Petit Manseng that showcases the grape’s unique character in a New World context.


Petit Manseng wines, particularly the sweet styles, have excellent aging potential. The high acidity acts as a preservative, allowing these wines to develop complex tertiary aromas and flavors over time. As they age, expect to find notes of dried apricot, candied citrus, honey, and nutty undertones. Dry styles can also benefit from short to medium-term aging, enhancing their depth and complexity. Typically, well-made Petit Manseng wines can age gracefully for 5-15 years or more, depending on the style and quality.

First Published: Monday, Jun 10, 2024 Last updated: Jun 10, 2024

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Damien Saunders
WSET3 award - Has been on a journey to learn more about wine, viticulture since I started travelling. Every country has something to drink.
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