A Wine Cellar guide to Cinsaut

Cinsaut (or Cinsault)

Cinsaut is a black wine grape that thrives in hot, dry climates. It is one of the most planted varieties in Southern France, though it is generally a workhorse grape that is blended with other classic Rhône varieties such as Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. In South Africa, Cinsaut was once known as Hermitage and was famously crossed with Pinot Noir in 1925 to create Pinotage.


Dubbed the 'Pinot Noir of the Swartland', Cinaut produces varietal wines that are light in colour and low in tannin, often displaying bright cherries, earth and spice. Due to its heat tolerance, it is also important in Morocco and plays a key role in the red wines of Château Musar - Lebanon's leading producer.

Synonyms: Cinsaut Noir, Cinqsaut, Cinq-saou, Ottavianello, Oeillade, Black Malvoisie, Blue Imperial, Black Prince, Samso

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