Historically, Cinsault is often blended with other, darker fruited and fuller bodied grapes. Its lighthearted crunchy red fruit flavors often bring freshness to grapes like Mourvedre(Mataro), Syrah(Shiraz), and Grenache.
When allowed to shine, it often jumps out of the glass with aromas of dried hibiscus and black cherry. Its savory flavors can be transportive, causing one to revisit the scent of the wild rolling hills of Tuscany, or the Provençal coast.
Aside from the grape’s utility in the Southern Rhône Valley and throughout the Mediterranean coast, South Africa has been a prominent home for cinsault. Numerous old vineyards remain from a time when the grape occupied more vineyard land than any other. It often contributed to the bulk of a blend, though rarely if ever graced the label. In 1925 it was bred with Pinot Noir to create Pinotage, though that accomplishment has done very little to advance South Africa’s currency in the wine world.
Down under, Cinsault is only found in South Australia, and concentrated within the Barossa and McLaren Vale GIs as it was planted as part of the traditional Southern-French blend alongside Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro.
The Barossa Valley along with the Clare and Eden Valleys is centered within Ngaduri Country. Though mention of co-existing alongside these tribes appears in German and English Colonial documents, these lands were invaded and the Ngaduri’s demise was brought by both massacre and the introduction of European diseases.
For both the 2019 and 2020 vintage, the cinsault has been sourced from a bio-dynamically farmed vineyard in the Vine Vale area of the Barossa Valley. As seen on the map to the left, the Barossa GI is a dynamic region. Across it and its two subzone-GIs, Eden Valley and the Barossa Valley, lots of varying temperatures, soil types, aspects, elevations and precepitation levels can be found.