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The Cinsaut Grape


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About Cinsaut

(Synonyms: Black Malvoisie, Black Prince, Blue Imperial, Cinqsaut, Cinq-saou, Cinsault, Grecau, Grecu Masculinu, Hermitage, Marrouquin, Ottavianello, Picardan Noir, Piquepoul D’Uzes, Prunelat, Prunelas, Samsó, Sinsóo, Sinsóon, Sinseur, Uva Spina)

Background

Map showing he Hérault region of France

Cinsaut (often rendered as Cinsault) is a red-wine grape apparently originating in the Hérault area of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, though it could ultimately have come from farther away (the eastern Mediterranean). Nowadays, it is grown primarily (but not exclusively) in the Languedoc-Roussillon area of France, northern Africa (notably Algeria), South Africa, Chile, and the U.S. (particularly around Lodi). Its growth habit is such that it is especially well suited for hot, dry climates (hence its use in North Africa and even Lebanon).

Cinsaut wines tend to be quite fruit-forward, strongly aromatic, lightly tinted, and of medium body and weight: “pretty”, as Jancis Robinson describes them. The usual taste descriptors involve the lighter-red berry family. It tends to be low in tannins, and is usually best drunk while young.

Factoid: Cinsaut was formerly known in South Africa as “Hermitage”; under that name, it became one of the two parent grapes (the other being Pinot Noir) of that country’s now well-known Pinotage varietal.

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Some Descriptions of Cinsaut Wines

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Some Cinsauts to Try

(About this list.)

While there are many bottlings of Cinsaut available in the U.S., when we filter by a reasonable quality level and then by reasonable availability at retail, the list shrinks considerably. Here are those we could find of acceptable quality with some availability.


Rogue Vine “Grand Itata” Tinto
(This is a blend, but is typically 95% Cinsaut.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Natte Valleij Cinsault
(They have several other Cinsaut bottlings—Darling, Simonsberg Paarl, Stellenbosch, Swartland—but this is their basic one.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Pedro Parra “Imaginador” Cinsault

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

Our nomination is The Sadie Family Die Ouwingerdreeks "Pofadder" Red; though the name suggests a blend, apparently it is 100% Cinsault.

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.