PASSERILLAGE A process in which grapes are air-dried and shriveled after harvest to increase their sugar concentration. This takes place in a dry, well-ventilated area in order to avoid spoilage, and is used in Jura, Alsace, and the Loire Valley.
PÉTILLANT French term that describes a wine with less carbon dioxide than a sparkling wine but more than one that could be described as spritzy.
PETIT VERDOT A red variety produced in Bordeaux that is sometimes blended with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
PHYLLOXERA An aphid that destroyed ¾ of the French vineyards between 1860 and 1880, and then all of Europe’s vineyards as well by killing their root systems. The only vineyards that survived the epidemic were those planted in flood zones. Using grafting at the start of the 20th century, the vineyards were restored in Europe using American rootstock that is resistant to the aphid.
PIÈCE Name used for a wine cask in Burgundy (228 or 216 liter capacity).
PINEAU D'AUNIS A red variety cultivated in some parts of the Loire Valley that produces a wine with a light robe.
PINOT GRIS This gray-blue grape produces powerful golden wines with complex aromas and sometimes smoky notes. Its power makes it pair well with meats and game.
PINOT MEUNIER Red variety that typically has more villous and hardy foliage than its parent grape, Pinot Noir. When used to produce champagne, Pinot Meunier contributes fruitiness and roundness.
PINOT NOIR Red variety cultivated primarily in Burgundy, which produces light colored wines that can nevertheless age very well. Its primary aromas include red and black fruit, cherries and cherry brandy, as well as gamy and leather aromas with time. Also cultivated in Champagne, where it is made into white wines.
PLEASANT Without defects
PLEASING Said of a wine with pleasant, unremarkable characteristics.
PLUMP Said of a wine that is high in alcohol, but still soft.
POULSARD Red variety grown primarily in the Jura region that produces delicate wines with a light robe.
POWERFUL Said of a wine that is full-bodied, robust and generous, with a rich bouquet.
PRESS WINE During the production of red wine, this is the wine drawn off the marc by pressing after the devatting process.
PRESSING Process of pressing the grape marc to extract the juice or the wine.
PRIMARY FERMENTATION Process that allows the grape juice to become wine as the yeasts transform its sugar into alcohol. CO2 is produced in the process.
PRIMEUR Vin de primeur. Called nouveau wines, these wines are made to be consumed young. They are authorized to be sold on the third Thursday of November for AOC wines and the third Thursday in October for Vins de Pays. Achat en primeur. Buying wine futures, or essentially purchasing the wine before it has been created, right after harvest.