I’ve always had a soft spot for Cinsault (also spelled Cinsaut), especially old-vine Cinsault.

A native of Southern France, this black grape variety is similar to Grenache in that it delivers soft, fruity, aromatic reds. It’s most often used in blends or to make perfumed all-Cinsault rosés. But old-vine Cinsault can produce distinguished reds all on its own.

The 2009 Cinsault from Bonny Doon Vineyard proves the point. It’s made exclusively from Cinsault, but blended from two different sites. The Ca’ del Solo vineyard, near Monterey, accounts for 60% of the blend, while the old-vine Woock vineyard in Central California contributes 40%.

“In 2009, the Ca’ del Solo vineyard gave us a restrained, elegant Cinsault, while the 100-year-old vines of the warmer-climate Woock vineyard, in Lodi, yielded a wine with tremendous concentration,” says winemaker Randall Grahm.

All in all, the 2009 Cinsault is an absolutely gorgeous wine.

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