A charmer in the Rhône Valley, Cinsault offers up generous peppery and floral aromas and ripe strawberry flavors to its blends. It actually has been grown for centuries in the Languedoc and is a popular blending grape in most appellations of the southern Rhône as well as other parts of the southern France.
Cinsault thrives in any hot and windy climate, and finds success in many other countries, namely California, Chile, Corsica, Lebanon, northern Africa and is a parent grape alongside Pinot noir, of South Africa’s acclaimed red grape, Pinotage.
In the Glass
Though a minor portion of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it plays an important role adding softness, lift, spice and an almost electric red fruit to blends. Southern France also makes some delightful Cinsault dominant rosés. On its own, it is supple, fresh and fruity with a hint of pepper or baking spice.
Cinsault pairs well with stews, gamey meats, rosemary chicken and roasted duck or winter squash.
Given its relatively long history in California, Cinsualt is often “hidden” in the Zinfandel blends of Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties. Historically planted alongside Zinfandel and other grapes, such as Petite Sirah or Mourvedre in the same vineyard, Cinsault is now an essential part of these so-called “field blends.”
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De Martino Viejas Tinajas Cinsault 2014Cinsault from Chile
Michael David Winery Ancient Vines Cinsault 2014Cinsault from Lodi, California
Waterkloof Seriously Cool Cinsault 2014Cinsault from South Africa
Mas Coutelou 5SO Simple Cinsault 2014Cinsault from Vin de France, France
Marques de Casa Concha Old Vines Dry Farmed Limited Edition Cinsault 2014Cinsault from Chile
Andrew Murray Curtis Vineyard Cinsault 2014Cinsault from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Alapay Cellars 2014Cinsault from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California