Cinsault Wine | The Workhorse Blending Grape


This underappreciated grape variety has much to offer, from its versatile flavor profile to its role in some of the most esteemed wine blends in the world.

Cinsault (aka Cinsaut) is a drought-resistant red grape variety that is widely planted in the southern Rhône valley and the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France, as well as in the dry climate of South Africa.

And, it’s often blended with other varieties to create a range of red, Rosé, and even sparkling wines. However, in recent years, Cinsault has gained popularity as a standalone varietal, thanks to its distinctive taste and character.

Table of Contents

How to Pronounce Cinsault?

cinsault wine pronunciation

What Does Cinsault Taste Like?

cinsault wine tasting notes

Cinsault Aromas:

  • Red fruits: strawberry, raspberry, tart cherry
  • Floral: rose, violet, lavender
  • Spices: pepper, clove
  • Earthy: dried leaves, black tea, forest floor

Cinsault Tasting Notes:

  • Medium-bodied
  • Low tannins
  • Moderate acidity
  • Fruit-forward and Floral
  • Subtle spice notes

Where Is Cinsault Wine From?

France Wine Region Map red grapes pinot noir vintage champagne
  • Southern Rhône, France: Generally, it’s a key component in many of the red blends from the southern France, more specifically Southern Rhône, where it is often used to add fruitiness, softness, and balance to the wine. And it’s most commonly found in the  Chateauneuf du Pape appellation, along with Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône.
  • Languedoc-Roussillon, France: Also, widely planted in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, where it is used to produce Rosé wines. And it’s often blended to temper the higher-alcohol and more tannic Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes to create a lighter and refreshing wine.
  • South Africa: First introduced to South Africa by the French Huguenots in the 17th century, and it has since become one of the country’s signature grape varieties. And it’s typically used to produce red blends and Rosé wines, where it adds fruitiness and softness to the wine.
  • Morocco: Also grown in Morocco, where it is used to produce both red and Rosé wines. Because the grape variety is well-suited to the hot, dry climate of North Africa, and it’s able to produce high-quality wine even in difficult conditions.
  • Australia: As a minor portion in Australia, it’s grown in small quantities in the McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley regions. Again, the grape is typically used to produce light and fruity wines, and it is often blended with other grape varieties.

Quick Facts about Cinsault Wine

  • Cinsault is one of the primary grape varieties used to make the popular French rosé wine, Tavel.
  • And, Cinsault is a parent grape of several other popular varieties, including Pinotage.
  • Additionally what makes Cinsault a workhorse wine grape is because it’s a early-ripening, drought-resistant grape variety that is well-suited to hot, dry climates.
  • Finally, it’s the fourth-most widely planted red grape in Chateauneuf du Pape appellation.

What Are the Different Types of Cinsault Wine?

  1. Red wine: Often used as a blending grape in red wines, where it adds, fruitiness, softness, complexity and balance to the wine because of it’s low tannins and fruit-forward character. Known best as a blending grape for the Chateauneuf du Pape appellation.
  2. Rosé wine: Another popular grape variety for producing Rosé wine, particularly in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. And Cinsault is often blended with other grape varieties, such as Grenache and Mourvèdre, to create a light and refreshing wine with flavors of red fruit and a subtle spice note.
  3. Sparkling wine: Also used to produce sparkling wine, particularly in South Africa. And with this grape variety, it’s typically blended with other varieties, such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, to create a crisp and refreshing wine with fine bubbles.

Our 7 Favorite Cinsault Wines

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1) Bosman Family Vineyards Twyfeling Cinsaut 2020 (Best Value)

Bosman Family Vineyards Twyfeling Cinsaut 2020 south africa ancient variety

A great example of what South African Cinsault should taste like. And this medium-bodied wine exhibits a delightful mix of fruit flavors like plum, tart cherry, and raspberry, while also adding earthy notes of leather, spice and tobacco.

Be it with food or even more by itself – this is an elegant and tasty wine for everyone!

2) Savage Follow the Line Red Blend 2021 (Best Blend)

cinsault blend south africa called hermitage called hermitage ancient variety

This blend combines Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre from premium Western Cape vineyards to make a truly special wine. And it has aromas of ripe red-fruits and floral notes, along with juicy flavors of raspberry, cherries, and pepper. Plus the soft tannins add to its velvety texture on the palate – an absolutely delicious red blend!

3) Rogue Vine Grand Itata Tinto 2021 (Best Chile)

Rogue Vine Grand Itata Tinto 2021 Cinsault cabernet sauvignon

This Chilean wine is a great example of what Cinsault can do in a cool climate. And with aromas of fresh red fruits, herbs and lots of floral notes, this light to medium-bodied red has flavors of bright cherry, raspberry jam, pepper and earth. Lastly, the soft tannins makes the wine incredibly well balanced.

4) Peyrassol Cuvée des Commandeurs Côtes de Provence Rosé 2021

Peyrassol Cuvée des Commandeurs Côtes de Provence Rosé

This popular Rose cuvée (or blend) has a pale pinkish color with aromas of wild raspberries, floral and zesty citrus notes. Then on the palate, it’s fresh and crisp with flavors of tart red fruits, citrus, and a hint of rose petal. Finally the finish is refreshingly dry making it perfect for summer drinking!

5) Château Sainte Roseline Cuvée Lampe de Méduse Côtes de Provence Rosé 2021

Château Sainte Roseline Cuvée Lampe de Méduse Côtes de Provence Rosé

Another Rose cuvée is made with predominately Cinsault, along with Grenache and Mourvèdre. And this pale pink Rosé exudes aromas of strawberry, raspberry, rose petals and a touch of spice. Furthermore, on the palate it is dry and crisp with flavors of grapefruit, citrus, apricot, and a hint of minerality. Undeniably delicious!

6) Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé 2021 (Most Popular)

Miraval Rose called hermitage

Undoubtedly one of the most popular Roses in the world! And it just shows you how utilized the Cinsault grape is. As a result, this wine has aromas of strawberry, cassis and rose petal along with a refreshing acidity and a dry finish making it the perfect summer sipper!

7) Lubanzi ‘Rainboat’ Pét-Nat 2021 (Best Sparkling)

Lubanzi ‘Rainboat’ Pét-Nat 2021 cinsault

Unquestionably Funky, Fruity, and Absolutely Delicious!

Overall this is a perfect bubbly for any occasion, made with 100% Cinsault. And it has aromas of wild strawberries, cranberries and raspberries, along with hints of citrus, rhubarb, and stone fruit. Plus on the palate it is light yet crisp with a refreshing ‘frizzante’ finish!