Four or five years ago I drank a bottle of ‘L’Oeillade’ of Mas Des Chimeres, a domaine near Lac Salagou. Oeillade is a local name for Cinsault (possibly a forerunner of Cinsault) and the wine is a light, dangerously gluggable red which was an excellent wine for the summer when I drank it. That makes the wine sound simple but it has complexity too. Incidentally, I tasted the Chimeres range at Millésime Bio and enjoyed them a great deal. Look out for Domaine La Fontude in the same area which is also making lovely wines including Cinsault.
That Cinsault wine surprised me as I associated the grape with rosé wines and indeed that is how most winemakers use it in the region. However, since then I have come across more red Cinsault bottles which have excited me. Les Chemins De Traverse is produced by La Baronne in Corbieres (see Day 3) whilst L’Oiselet is a lovely wine made by Yannick Pelletier in the St Chinian area. Incidentally all of Yannick’s wines are absolutely terrific. Truly a viticulteur to look out for and buy if possible, you would not regret it. Just today (March 30th) I also tasted a really good Cinsault from Julien Peyras called ‘Gourmandise’, part of another excellent range of wines, again look out for him.
All of these Cinsaults are deceptively easy to drink but have complexity too.
I must also add two Cinsaults produced by Mas Coutelou. 5SO is a light version ready for drinking and delicious it is too, including the newly bottled 2014 which I can confirm is excellent.
Then there is Copains a Cinsault which is again apparently easy to drink but carries real weight and will be at its best in years to come, and if you think I might be being biased read this review from the excellent blog by David Farge (Abistodenas).
Cinsault is a variety enjoying a renaissance as winemakers realise its potential and vinify it to be something more than just a quaffing wine. There is room for both types of wine so give them a go.