The Rogue Rhônes : Cinsault Shines in the Helix SoRho
GIMME A C!
Gimme a I!
Gimme an N!
Ok. Enough of that nonsense…it’s time to get down to some serious business, and by “business” I mean talking about one of the three delectable grapes that becomes the Helix SoRho. You are probably wondering about that ridiculous cheer above, but don’t fret, because it DOES tie in. Columbia Valley Cinsault is a lot like a cheerleader (don’t discredit me yet!), it’s soft, undeniably feminine, is a great team player, and even smells of strawberries. See? I’m not crazy. GGGOOO CINSAULT!
Cinsault (or Cinsaut), pronounced SAN-soh, is a varietal of grape often used for blending to add softness and bouquet and is the fourth most widely planted varietal in France. Cinsault has many different names, the most well-known being Hermitage from South Africa. Winepros.org says, “Wine made from Cinsault grapes can be very aromatic with a vaporous perfume that assails the nostrils and supple texture that soothes the palate. Fairly low in tannin, it is often made into rosé by itself or blended to brighten the fruit and tone down the harsher edges of carignan, in particular.” It often shows aromas of strawberry, red cherry, musk, gamey meat, and perfume. It has a particularly velvety mouth feel and very little tannic pull to dry out your mouth. It is a womanly wine in just about every way, shape, and form. Flavor-wise, you’ll taste the same summer strawberries from the nose, but also detect some darker red fruits: raspberries, currants, and ruby red cherries.
Next up I will introduce you to Cinsault’s rogue Rhône sidekick: the meaty, minty Mourvedre!