Spotlight on Cinsault

Spotlight on Cinsault

THURSDAY, APR 26 2018
TOM SINTON

About Cinsault
(Pronounced SAN-soh)
Cinsault is the fourth most widely planted grape in France and is often blended with heavier red varietals to soften their flavors.  

What is the origin of Cinsault?
Cinsault is thought to be an “ancient” grape and is believed to have originated in southern France in the Hérault region. It may have been transported to France from the Eastern Mediterranean by traders. Cinsault grows well in warm, dry regions and is drought tolerant.  

Where are the most popular regions for Cinsault?
Cinsault thrives in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France and is often made into the rosé found throughout Provence. Its drought and heat tolerance have made it an ideal grape grown in the former French colonies of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. Cinsault is also found in Italy, South Africa (where it is used in Pinotage), Lebanon, Australia, and the United States. The Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi planted Cinsault in 1885 and still produces Cinsault today.

Because Cinsault is often used as a blending grape, there aren’t many producers of a 100% Cinsault wine. Hovey Winery in Murphys is one of the few wineries that produces a wine entirely from Cinsault.    

What are the characteristics of Cinsault?
Cinsault is dark, thick-skinned with rather large berries that produce a wine with light floral, perfume-like aromas. It is ideal for blending with heavier, bolder reds to soften their flavors, such as Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. Cinsault is often used in rosés and is an early drinking wine and does not need to be aged. It produces large yields, so it benefits greatly from reducing quantities to have more concentrated flavors in the wine.  

Why did you choose to plan Cinsault?
I planted CInsault to produce a light-bodied red as part of the Starfield wine portfolio.  It’s ideal to serve during the warm summer months, and the perfumed aroma is absolutely amazing.  There’s no other wine quite like it, and once people have tried it, I think they’ll always go back to it.      

When will it be available?
We’re crushing our first Cinsault in 2018, and we expect the wine to be available by late spring 2019.
 
Tips for enjoying Cinsault?
Cinsault is a versatile wine and pairs well with salads, shellfish, roasted meats and lamb, poultry, salmon, stews and tagines, Thai curry, escargot, and Gruyere cheese. Cinsault aromas range from strawberry, cherry, berries to perfume. On the palate you may taste stone fruit, raspberry, pomegranate, spices of cardamom and peppercorn. Cinsault can be found in stores at a variety of price points. We anticipate that our will be priced at $27 upon release in 2019.


Starfield Vineyards is an artisanal producer of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot  from the cooler hillsides of Napa Valley and Bordeaux, France.  Inspired by the “star fields” that make extraordinary wines possible in these world-renowned regions, Starfield celebrates the truly great vineyard sites that allow Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to develop the optimal balance of aroma, flavor and texture.  Father and son team, Tom and Rob Sinton, bring to Starfield four generations of winegrowing experience and an intense desire to reach beyond traditional boundaries to pursue the ultimate quality in cool climate winemaking. Buy our wine online and sign up for your allocation by joining our wine club, which assures your access to these limited production Bordeaux blends for home, special occasions or as gifts for wine connoisseurs.