Grape Of The Week: Cinsault
A grape of many names, Cinsault is known by different monikers based on where it’s grown. Amongst its synonyms, Cinsault is known as Samsó, or Sinsó, in Spain, and Hermitage in South Africa. Often used in blends, Cinsault’s main blending partners are Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, while small amounts can be found in Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines. Cinsault also produces single varietal roses, which tend to have notes of strawberry, raspberry, dried herbs, and violet, with hints of black tea leaf. It’s fantastic alongside grilled veal, Indian curry, and escargot.
There used to be 120,000 acres dedicated to Cinsault, but with its decline in popularity in the 1970s, there’s now roughly 50,000 acres. Cinsault thrives in dry and extremely hot climates, which is why it can be found in Mediterranean countries like Morocco, where it is the most planted grape. In 1925, Cinsault was crossed with Pinot Noir to create Pinotage, which ended up overshadowing Cinsault in South Africa.
Delve into all things Cinsault:
Domaine de la Verriere Les Ocres Ventoux Rouge 2021
Finca Mas Perdut Cervell de Mas Perdut 2021
Laurent Miquel Rose 2021
Skinner Vineyards Native Red 2019
Terroir Sonoro El Impostor Sparkling Cinsault Rose 2021
VRAC VDP Rose 3L Box 2021
Grape Photo Credit: Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof - 76833 Siebeldingen, GERMANY