Bonny Doon Vineyard Cinsault, paired with grilled vegetable napoléons

It’s been a long-standing fondness for Cinsault (also known as Cinsaut) and especially old-vine Cinsault. Originating from Southern France, this black grape is similar to Grenache because it produces fragrant, soft, and fruity reds. It’s typically blended or used to create aromatic all-Cinsault roses. However, old-vine Cinsault produces distinctive reds by itself.

This 2009 Cinsault produced by Bonny Doon Vineyard proves the concept. It’s made entirely from Cinsault; however, it’s made from two different locations. The Ca’ del Solo vineyard near Monterey is responsible for 60 percent of the blend, and the old-vine Woock vineyard in Central California contributes 40%.

“In 2009, the Ca’ del Solo vineyard gave us a restrained, elegant Cinsault, while the 100-year-old vines of the warmer-climate Woock vineyard, in Lodi, yielded a wine with tremendous concentration,” the winemaker Randall Grahm.

In all The 2009 Cinsault is a stunning wine.

Bonny Doon Vineyard Cinsault

Producer: Bonny Doon Vineyard

Region: California

Vintage: 2009

Grapes: 100% Cinsault

Vineyards: 60% Ca’ del Solo vineyard, 40% Woock vineyard

Alc: 13.5%

Decant for an hour prior to serving.

When the Bonny Doon Vineyard 2009 Cinsault flows through the decanter, vibrant shades of purple reflect off of the glass. The wine is appealing, vibrant, and alive!

In the nostril, rich aromas of dark cherries as well as blackberry and spice float through the glass. each of them intensifying and expanding after you drink. The red plums and pomegranate blend the dark fruits in perfect synergy. In the next phase, more layers are revealed like a tingly black pepper vanilla, anise and violets.

All that perfume and fruitiness is balanced by a excellent acidity, soft tannins, and a hint of earth. The wine is young, but it’s rich, concentrated and full of complexity. It’s not a bad wine.

My initial thought was that 2009 Cinsault is extremely food friendly and could be paired with many foods. In a flash I knew that it would go well with these deliciously smoky barbecued napoleons made of vegetables and hot scallion vinaigrette.

The rich, intense fruit notes provided a wonderful background for the smokiness the dish. This wine picked up the cayenne peppers in the vinaigrette, and increased the heat just a little.

The medium-plus weight of the Cinsault is a perfect match for the weight of the meal precisely. Napoleons may be brimming with flavor, but they do not make for a thick heavy main dish. Both dishes and wine offer plenty in flavor, nuance and charm but without being too heavy. A exciting method of drinking and eating.

It’s easy to become an admirer of the Bonny Doon Vineyard. The wines they produce are consistently excellent and are a good value. However, their 2009 Cinsault is truly special. It’s a wine that I would like to revisit over and over. I’m not sure I’ll ever get bored of it. I’m now just trying to think of some more delicious treats to go with it.

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