Cinsault is a red grape varietal noted for its heat tolerance and drought resistance. Originating somewhere in the Mediterranean region, it is grown in many countries, and while it can be used on its own, Cinsault is primarily used for blending and making large volumes of wine, due to its early ripening and high yields. It also adds softness and bouquet to a blend. Cinsault is the 4th most widely grown grape in France and you’ll find it particularly in Provence rosés.
Cinsault wines are often fresh and a little bit punchy, with a nice balance of fruit and spice notes. Typical flavours include raspberry, red currant, tart cherry, florals, and black tea. It’s typically medium bodied with low tannins and medium acidity. Traditional pairing recommendations: Escargot, Boeuf Bourguignon, or Braised Lamb.
In South Africa, Cinsault was crossed with Pinot Noir to create Pinotage.
Cinsault was introduced to America in the 1860s and at the time was known as Black Malvoisie. While not often used today, American wines typically blend Cinsault with Zinfandel.
Other names for Cinsault: Cinsaut, Hermitage, Black Prince, Oeillade, and Ottavianello.