The Cinsault: everything you need to know

Cinsault is a southern grape variety , more precisely of Provençal origin . It adapts to hot and sunny soil . Resistant to drought, it is one of the oldest grape varieties in the South of France. Usually it is vinified in red. Its vinification in rosé is now requested by winegrowers. Want to know more ? We tell you all about it.

Cinsault: a brief history

Cinsault is a variety of grape that has existed for a very long time. Of southern origin, its first vines were discovered in the center of Provence, particularly in the south-west of France. It tends to disappear in this region. Today, this grape variety is found in Languedoc Roussillon as well as in the Rhône Valley . It allows high yields and was planted during the 20th century as a replacement for hybrid plants.

Like Grenache , Cinsault evolves perfectly in the hot climates and arid soils of southern France . It is the most widely grown red grape variety in South Africa. It was dethroned by Cabernet-Sauvignon in the early 90s. It is also found in white Africa. It also constitutes almost the entire Lebanese and Moroccan economy.

The different appellations of Cinsault

It is also known as:

  • five saou in Languedoc
  • Arles plant
  • boudalès or bourdalès
  • bourdelas in the high Pyrenees
  • mortar, passerine
  • picardan
  • spanish
  • Calabria
  • hermitage in south africa
  • black malvasia in the United States (California)
  • ottavianello in italy
  • senzo in Bulgaria
  • mavro kara melki in russia

Characteristics of cinsault

Cinsault is a grape that settles late . Its strong point is that it is perfectly resistant to drought and prefers poor soils. Its clusters are large and its berries are very large. With its juicy flesh and crunchy skin, this variety can be tasted both in wine and in fruit. It is used to produce bright rosé wines and light and pale red wines (primeurs). It gives wines that are very easy to drink, low in acid and low in nitrogen.

On the nose, it reveals a tone that is both fruity and floral. It comes in notes of red fruits such as raspberry, peach and white flowers. From the attack on the palate, its flavor is rather supple, very balanced leaning on a taste of dried fruits. Its refreshing and very greedy wines sometimes turn to notes of acid candy. However, wines produced with cinsault should not be kept for very long. Otherwise, they would lose their freshness .

It can be consumed in two ways: either it is vinified; or it is consumed as table grapes. In the second option, it is known as a glare . The only drawback of this variety is that it is very often susceptible to diseases , in particular escra wood disease. It is also exposed to certain parasites such as grape worms , which means that it is not very stressed due to its very short lifespan.

What to taste with a cinsault?

It has a thin skin and a fruity juice perfectly indicated for the production of rosé wines. It is used in the production of Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée wines such as Côtes du Rhône and Côtes de Provence . Although this variety has many disadvantages, it goes very well with certain meals. It is ideal to share for an aperitif with friends, family or even at the edge of a beach. If you are a fan of charcuterie, do not hesitate to taste your wine with grilled meat or grilled seafood.

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Moreover, if you love Italian menus, a Cinsault -based wine will be a good ally to accompany a pizza or legs. You can also pair your rosé wine with paella or couscous. Do not hesitate to serve your wine between 10 and 11°C.

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