Cinsaut (also spelled Cinsault) is a red wine grape of ancient origins; It is likely that Cinsaut originated either out of Herault or was imported by traders from the Eastern Mediterranean.
Its tolerance to heat and its productivity have made it significant in Languadoc-Roussillon of France, as well as in Algeria and Morocco. Cinsaut is highly resilient in drought, but may become susceptible to disease in wet conditions. It’s is a heavy-yielding varietal, though grapes are of higher quality when yields are controlled.
Cinsaut is a black grape with thick skins, light in body and low in tannins. As such, it’s uncommon to find Cinsaut produced as a single varietal wine. More often it is blended with grapes such as Carignan and Grenache, and is prized for the softness and bouquet it lends as a blending grape.
Cinsaut is now successfully grown throughout the globe and may be found in South Africa, Algeria, Australia, Lebanon, and is experiencing a resurgence in Italy. In France, Cinsaut is the fourth most widely planted grape and is very important in Languedoc-Roussillon and as grapes used for rosé in Provence. It is also cultivated as a table grape in France and Australia.
You can find the oldest continuous Cinsault vineyard in Lodi, California, Bechtold Vineyard. Joseph Spenker planted Bechtold Vineyard in 1885.
Cinsaut is grown in California and known as Black Malvoisie, and is grown in the Yakima Valley AVA of Washington State.
Cinsault is prized for its soft tannins and potent bouquet. Flavors of red fruit, peppercorn and cardamom are often noted, with cherry and strawberry aromas.
PRODUCERS: UNITED STATES
Bechtold Vineyard, Lodi
Derby Vineyard, Paso Robles