I love Cinsault and regardless if the grapes are from Provence, the Rhone or the Languedoc, I constantly find that wines made from the obscure grape are always dreamy. I first fell in love with the grape when Bonny Doon's winemaker, Randall Grahm first came out with a DEWN wine made 100 percent from the hardly seen Rhone varietal. I later enjoyed similar 100 percent wines from Santa Barabara's Zaca Mesa, so with Vinisud coming up next week, the opportunity to drink one along with local expert, Bernard Bardou, over lunch near his home in St. Jean de Fos from a local winemaker on the rise was too good of an offer to pass up.
The wine is from La Terreasse de E'lise and is called "La Pradel." It's 100 percent Cinsault from vines that are between 40 and 60 years old in the small town of St. Jean des Fos, not far from Montpeyroux where friend Sylvain Fadat also makes a cinsault wine I enjoy.
The La Terreasse de E'lise is charming. And while young, it has that charm that is found in old vine reds that you yearn for. Spicy, without heat, think Pinot Noir, round and full, but not flabby, rich and long on the palate with a hint of thyme, but mostly blackberry and blackraspberry fruit on the finish.
It's a wine to enjoy and sip. You could drink it alone, but with venison, it was a pefect match at