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Posts Tagged ‘Cinsault’

Daily Glass: Monday Night Wine

September 12, 2022 Leave a comment

Monday night. The first working day of the week is over. Or it might not be over, who knows. But it is Monday, and the week is just starting. Is there a wine more suitable for Monday than any other day of the week?

Friday night is easy. Friday always means fun and celebration. Friday is already playful, so unless you have serious dinner plans aligned, Friday night wine might be even a cocktail for all I can tell.

I guess Saturday is asking for a serious wine, no matter what. It’s the middle of the weekend which is always special. Thursday… well, I don’t know about Thursday, let’s get back to Monday.

So how do we select the wine for Monday night? Most likely, you are at home. Most likely, it is only you and your spouse drinking. Most likely, you are not in a hurry. Most likely, you can take your time and enjoy that glass for as long as you want. Considering all of these “most likely” circumstances, let’s settle on the thought-provoking wine. The wine which shows its beauty slowly, sniff by sniff,  sip by sip.

Can you think of a wine that would match this description?

While you think about it, I will lead by example and offer to talk about my Monday wine.

2019 Turley Bechtold Vineyard Cinsault Lodi (12.4% ABV). Wine from one of my favorite producers – Turley. Wine from one of my favorite wine regions in California (and not only in California) – Lodi.

Lodi flies under the radar for a lot of wine lovers. Everybody knows Napa and Sonoma. Californian Pinot Noir aficionados probably know Santa Barbara County. Meanwhile, Lodi is where Robert Mondavi went to high school and where his father run the grape-packing business. Lodi is the single largest AVA in North America, and Lodi is where Napa winemakers go to get their grapes. Maybe most importantly, Lodi is home to a number of old, continuously producing vineyards. Of course, everyone likes to lay a claim to the “oldest vineyard” here and there – however, Bechtold vineyard in Lodi was planted in 1886, and oldest or not, 136 years of continuously producing fruit deserves the utmost respect.

Lodi might be best known for its old vines Zinfandels, but our Monday wine tonight is made out of Cinsault, a grape typically used in Rhône and Provence. Cinsault wines typically offer a fruity and floral profile with some pungent undertones.

2019 Turley Cinsault was made using whole cluster fermentation with natural yeast and aged for about 7 months in used French oak barrels. The result was the wine that delivered that thought-provoking Monday night experience we were talking about.

On the nose, the wine offered fresh berries and a hint of the forest floor. On the palate, there was a delicate interplay of raspberries, sour cherries, tartness, and acidity, all packaged together delicately but firmly, and finishing off with sour cherries and cherry pits, long-lasting and offering an opportunity to enjoy a quiet moment. (Drinkability: 8/8+)

That’s how my Monday night wine was (delicious!). How was yours?

Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, #MWWC7 12 days left, Don’t Forget OTBN, How Much Would You Pay For A Cocktail?

February 5, 2014 7 comments

Meritage time!

First, let’s start with the answer for the Wine Quiz #91, grape trivia – Cinsault. In the quiz, you were supposed to answer 5 questions about the red grape called Cinsault (it is Cinsaut for French-proper). Here are the questions, now with the answers:

Q1: Name 3 grapes, traditional blending partners of Cinsault in Provençal Rosé

A1: When it comes to Provençal Rosé, Carignan, Grenache and Mourvèdre are most often blended with Cinsault.

Q2: In which US state the history of winemaking is associated with Cinsault?

a. Oregon, b. Texas, c. Virginia, d. Washington

A2: Interestingly enough,  early history of winemaking in Washington is associated with Cinsault, which was introduced in the Walla Walla region by Italian immigrants.

Q3: The oldest continuously producing Cinsault vineyard in the world is located in:

a. Algeria, b. France, c. South Africa, d. United States

A3: It was recently discovered that the small vineyard in California is actually the oldest continuously producing planting of Cinsault, and was planted in 1885. For more information, here is an interesting article by W. Blake Gray.

Q4: True or False: Cinsault is one of the 30 most planted grapes in the world

A4: True. According to the statistics of 2010, Cinsault was 25th most planted grape in the world with slightly less than 50,000 acres planted worldwide.

Q5: Considering Cinsault plantings worldwide, sort the countries below from the largest area plantings to the lowest:

a. Algeria, b. France, c. Morocco, d. South Africa

A5: France (about 20,000 acres), Algeria (about 7,500 acres), Morocco (about 3,500 acres), South Africa (about 2,000 acres).

Talking about the results, somehow this quiz had very low participation – may be the subject of somewhat obscure grape, may be the snow, but something got in the way of hundreds of people who I know wanted to play. Anyway, there is a next time for everything. But – one person attempted to solve the quiz, so I would like to acknowledge Suzanne of apuginthekitchen, as this also was her first participation in the wine quizzes here – well done!

And now, to the interesting news around the vine and the web!

First, I would like to remind everybody that the deadline for #MWWC7 is rapidly approaching – only 12 days are left until the deadline. Are you devoted to wine something or someone? Get your passion flowing, devote some time, pour yourself a glass of wine (want a “brute force” solution? find the bottle of Dowsett Family Wines Devotion Red and just do the review), but really, it is time to get more devoted to the #MWWC7. For all rules and regulations, please check SAHMMelier’s blog post.

Do you know what OTBN stands for? Need another two seconds? Okay. OTBN stands for Open That Bottle Night – the movement started by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, brilliant wine columnists writing the wine column for Wall Street Journal for many years. The idea of OTBN is that all of us have our “special bottle(s)” waiting for the special moment(s) to be open. And for the sake of the wine – and our own sake – in many cases it is better for the wine and for the people to have that special bottle opened rather sooner than later. OTBN is meant to encourage people to open and enjoy that special bottle. OTBN is celebrated during the last Saturday of February, thus OTBN 2014 will be taking place on February 22nd  – here you can find the full calendar of all past OTBN events. Start thinking about that special bottle of wine you will open – that is definitely a fun part of the experience.

Quick question – how much are you willing to pay for the cocktail? Okay, $11.95, of course. What are you saying? You can sometimes splurge the whole $30, especially if you are in the best New York hotel? Okay, sure, make sense. So, how about $50,000? Shocked? Absurd, you are saying? Yes, I’m with you – it is an absurd all the way if you ask me, but apparently someone found it quite palatable to pay $50K for the diamond studded glass filled with Hennessy Richard (most exquisite cognac made by Hennessy). I wonder if he got to keep the glass… Hope he did. To make it more fun, before you read the story, try to think about the place (city?) in the world where someone will pay $50K for the cocktail. Here is the link to the article about that $50K extravaganza.

That’s all I have for you for today. The glass is empty – but the refill is on its way. Cheers!

Weekly Wine Quiz #91: Grape Trivia – Cinsault

February 1, 2014 4 comments

 

Cinsault Grapes. Source: Wikipedia

Cinsault Grapes. Source: Wikipedia

The Wine Quiz series is not meant to intimidate. The whole idea here is to have fun and learn something new. When answering the questions, it is fully encouraged to use all available sources of information, including Google or any other search engine. There are no embarrassing answers – the most embarrassing thing is not giving it a try…

Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!

We are continuing our grape trivia series, with the focus still on the red grapes, and today’s subject is Cinsault – for the French purists, we should drop an “l” there and call the grape Cinsaut.

At first, I wanted to call Cinsault an “unsung hero”, but I don’t think it would be the right way to put it. Yes, about 20 years ago, Cinsault plantings in France were exceeding those of Cabernet Sauvignon – but this was 20 years ago. Cinsault is best known for 2 things: it is a blending grape in many of the Rosé wines in Provence and Languedoc, and it is a father (or mother, if you prefer) of Pinotage – the unique South African grape we talked about last time. Cinsault is a black-skinned, early ripening grape which has a tendency to overproduce, easily yielding 6 – 10 tons of grapes per acre (high yield typically means less flavor in each grape). When the yield is controlled at 2 – 4 tons, Cinsault produces very aromatic, fragrant grapes. Cinsault grapes also naturally low in tannin but impart good color, which makes them well suited for Rosé production.

While the biggest Cinsault plantings are still located in France, the grape is growing all other the world – Algeria, Chile, Italy, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, United States and number of other countries have Cinsault plantings. What is interesting to note that today, when winemakers are constantly in the quest to produce unique and different wines, the  single grape red (!) Cinsault bottlings from Chile, South Africa and the United States from the last few vintages have wine critics and writers rave about beautiful, fresh and elegant characteristics of the wines. I think we didn’t see the last of Cinsault yet.

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: Name 3 grapes, traditional blending partners of Cinsault in Provençal Rosé

Q2: In which US state the history of winemaking is associated with Cinsault?

a. Oregon

b. Texas

c. Virginia

d. Washington

Q3: The oldest continuously producing Cinsault vineyard in the world is located in:

a. Algeria

b. France

c. South Africa

d. United States

Q4: True or False: Cinsault is one of the 30 most planted grapes in the world

Q5: Considering Cinsault plantings worldwide, sort the countries below from the largest area plantings to the lowest:

a. Algeria

b. France

c. Morocco

d. South Africa

Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!

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