Cinsault (pronounced "sin-so") is a red grape variety known for its versatility and contributions to various wine regions worldwide. It has a rich history, primarily in the Languedoc region of southern France, but it has spread to many other wine-producing areas due to its adaptability to different climates.
Cinsault grapes are medium-sized with thin skins, typically dark blue to black in colour. The vines are hardy and drought-resistant grapevine, making them suitable for warm and arid climates. They are particularly well-suited to Mediterranean regions and thrive in areas with hot summers.
While Cinsault is mainly used in red wine production, it is also sometimes used in rosé wines, adding light and fruity character. It is often blended with other grape varieties to enhance the wine profile.
The variety tends to exhibit a range of flavours, including red berries, cherries, and sometimes a hint of spices. When used in rosé wines, it can bring out more floral and watermelon notes.
Tannins are typically on the lower side, which can make them more approachable and enjoyable in their youth. The variety is often used in blends to soften and round out more tannic grape varieties.
Cinsault has been a key component in traditional blends in southern France, such as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. Over time, it has gained popularity in other wine regions as winemakers recognize its potential for producing high-quality wines.