At dinner in Cru in Kinsale, Alex spotted a wine he'd never encountered before. It was a South African Tiger Horse Cinsault, labelled as coming from old vines. Cinsault is characterised by vines of 40-65 years in age or more, in vineyards that are not irrigated, resulting in 14% alcohol, berry flavour, and light translucent red colour. It is typically said to be served with escargots or stew. How they arrived at those decisions is beyond me. We liked it with seafood. It was lightly fruity, lightly chilled, and served by the owner of Cru who came by to explain his selection of this wine in person. He wanted to be certain we understood what we ordered and also offered to exchange it for something else if we didn't like it. Our experience at Cru overall was exceptional.
I looked up Cinsault when we returned home and learned that it is a grape that thrives in hot windy weather. Hence, it's often found in places like South Africa and the Rhone Valley. It is also used to make rosés in the Provence region. But apparently, Cinsault is in decline, decreasing in total acreage in vineyards all over the world. Over a ten year period from 2000 to 2010, 14% of Cinsault vines were culled from vineyards worldwide and replaced with vines that are easier to cultivate. As a result, Cinsault wines are available in relatively small quantities. A NYT article I found recommends the wines of De Martino winery. It's available in Ireland so I shall be on a quest.