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Cinsault is yet another Rhone Valley grape used to make thick extracted red wines. As with the other Rhone varietals, Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre this grape enjoys warm climates. We see increasing acreage in the United States especially California, and recently Washington. Cinsault is also produced widely in South Africa.

Cinsault is rarely the leading lady in blends, and very few producers ferment and bottle it as an independent varietal wine. When they do, it is a medium to full bodied red. Warmer climates show fuller body and broader tannic structure. Dark fruit aromas and soft velvety texture, I frequently find it to be a little bit spicy.

If seeking a new world Cinsault, look to South Africa and southern California. It is usually grown by the same producers who sell GSM blends, because they blend it into the other wines of their labels, and usually produce a small "pet project" bottling of their Cinsault. I like to show it as part of a Rhone tasting kit, aside Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and a fifth grape called Carignan. We can create a class.

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