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The Tablas Creek Vineyard 2019 Cinsaut is our first varietal bottling of this rare Chateauneuf-du-Pape grape, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate.
Cinsaut is the fourth-most-planted grape in Chateauneuf du Pape, after Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. On its own it is valued for its juicy liveliness, its red fruit, its relatively gentle tannins, and its low alcohol.
A rich, exotic nose of ripe plum, soy marinade, loamy earth, star anise, and chocolate. On the palate, flavors of fruitcake, cocoa powder, and black raspberry, with a creamy texture. This wine bridges the gap in mouthfeel between a ligher-bodied red like Counoise or Terret Noir and richer red grapes like Syrah or Mourvedre. The finish shows sweet earth and dark red fruit, kept in balance by a little tannic bite.
- Adelaida District Paso Robles
- 13.0% Alcohol by Volume
- 50 Cases Produced
- 100% Cinsaut
We expect, in the long term, to use Cinsaut in many of our red and rose blends. But it is also capable of making a delicious varietal wine, showcasing its lively fruit, spice and acidity. With just two barrels to work with in this, our first vintage, we made the decision to bottle it on its own.
The 2019 vintage began with ample rainfall the preceding winter. The wet soils delayed budbreak to a little after normal, and a cool first half of the summer delayed flowering and the ripening of our earlier varieties. Beginning the second week of July, the weather turned warm but never so warm to engage the vines' self-defense mechanism of shutting down, accelerating ripening of our later varieties and producing intense flavors. The resulting compressed harvest was completed under ideal conditions and the vintage shows both concentration and freshness, with bright acids framing ample fruit.
With this tiny first crop, we fermented the Counoise in a macrobin, then pressed it to two neutral barrels. The barrels were racked and blended in March 2021, then bottled under screwcap in April 2021.