Although you may have had not tried a Cinsault wine before apart from Rosé, the grape variety is very widely planted in many regions of the world and used in many blends.
It is also know as Hermitage in South Africa.. Famous for being part of the Pinotage grape variety which is a crossing between Pinot Noir and Hermitage, so Cinsault.
Let’s discover this grape variety together.
How to pronounce?
Where does it comes from?
Cinsaut (often spelled Cinsault) is a black grape variety that is thought to be originally from South of France.
It is popular in the region, because it is resistant to drought and tends to provide high yields, which makes it ideal in the hot and dry climate of the South of France. These very qualities helped it’s success abroad in warmer, drier climates.
Where do you find Cinsault?
Cinsault only occupies a minor portion of the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation, and is in fact found more in other areas such as Bandol , Gigondas and Tavel.
Outside of France, Cinsault is also grown in Australia, Lebanon and South Africa.
What does it smell like?
As mentioned, it is mostly used in blends, and usually with a low percentage. As a result, the Cinsault aromas and flavours are not going to be predominant.
Usually though, it’s fair to say that Cinsault is used to add perfume and fruity notes to the wines.
If we look at 100% Cinsault rosés, you will get wines that are most often light pink coloured, with aromas of:
- Red Cherry
What does it taste like?
It’s as a grape variety is usually low in tannin. Once again, if we look at 100% Cinsault rosés, the palate will often develop aromas of:
What food will it go well with?
While Chateauneuf-du-Pape reds, or Bandol red wines will pair beautifully with rich, wholehearted comfort food, such as chilli con carne, or with grilled beef (especially the fattier cuts), Cinsault rosés are going to be more delicate and will therefore require more delicate dishes.
In my view, a Cinsault rosé from Provence for example will be beautiful with seafood dishes, or even as an aperitif, as the freshness and aromatic profile will be great to open the appetite.
Best Cinsault: 5 To try
- Petit Rimauresq Grenache Cinsault Syrah Rosé 2007
- Percheron Old Vine Cinsault, South Africa 2013
- De Martino 2015 Gallardía Cinsault Rosé (Itata Valley)
- Cuvée Du Vatican Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre Cinsault 2010
- Radford Dale Thirst Cinsault 2015