My ‘Cinsault’ label is one of the very few red wines made entirely from a grape variety which is considered more suitable for making rosé wine.
Cinsault is one of Languedoc’s ancient grape varieties, on the verge of extinction and which, wrongly, has been much maligned. When grown in a quality vineyard site and deftly crafted in the winery, it produces very compelling, refined red wines.
In the vineyard
The three plots of Cinsault are located in my large unbroken hillside vineyard, which is entirely classified under the Saint Chinian appellation and where the soil is composed of stony limestone.
The vines are grown in the time-honoured Languedoc bush-vine style, a traditional Languedoc system for the development of vine structure, fostering good aeration and excellent exposure, which are pivotal to producing healthy grapes reaching peak ripeness.
In the cellar
The grapes are harvested ultra ripe, by hand.
As soon as they arrive in the cellar, the grapes are immediately destemmed, then lightly crushed and put into the tank. Fermentation and hot maceration (about 25°C) in the tank lasts for three weeks, with twice daily pumping over.
The wines are drawn off in October, then racked twice over the following months.
They mature in tanks for about 5 months with no fining and very light filtration.
In the glass
The wine displays a lovely red colour and a fruity nose.
The palate is supple and full-flavoured.
This is a crisp, fresh, silky wine, underscored by very fine tannins.
Cellaring potential: over 10 years.