What’s the most underrated red grape variety in the world? Most of us have an underdog we like to get behind, and at the top of my list is Cinsault.
It has long been considered a second-class variety, but more and more talented winemakers are now convinced of its quality, creating wines of unusual transparency, clarity and definition. And not a moment too soon. Over the past two decades, few varieties have been ripped from global vineyards at the same rate as Cinsault.
I pulled together 37 wines, and a panel of five experts, to help reveal where Cinsault is flourishing and who is making the finest examples of this beguiling variety.
Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the top-scoring Cinsault wines
A grape in search of itself
Cinsault originated in the south of France. It produces big bunches of large grapes that are delicious straight from the vine. These big, juicy berries can make for large yields, so it has long been known for quantity, rather than quality.