Over the last couple of weeks, I had the chance to try several bottles of Cinsault from Lodi’s Bechthold Vineyard. Bechthold Vineyard is the home of some of the world’s oldest Cinsault plantings. The vines were originally planted in 1885 by Joseph Spenker.
Beautiful shot of Bechthold Vineyard – courtesy of Lodi Winegrape Commission
Today, there are 25 acres of wine in Bechthold Vineyard managed by Michael David Winery. The vineyard is farmed organically and produces beautiful fruit. Currently, the Cinsault fruit is sold to 9 wineries and makes it into the hands of a few other lucky producers. There are 5 acres of Cinsault fruit that are reserved for making Rosé.
Bechthold Vineyard Cinsault cluster – courtesy of Lodi Winegrape Commission
What I really love about these wines is that they destroy the stereotype that Lodi wine is high in alcohol, bold, and overpowering. In reality, the Cinsault from Bechthold Vineyard is light, bright, and refreshing. Here are three diverse Cinsaults I recently tasted from Bechthold:
Turley 2013 Lodi Cinsault
Turley, an iconic Napa Valley winery, produces an excellent Cinsault from Bechthold Vineyard. The wine has layers of red fruit with bright acidity and excellent texture. There are also savory and earthy notes to go along with the tart fruit. To me, this wine really showcases the beauty and terroir of Bechthold Vineyard. (13% alcohol, $17)
Estate Crush 2012 Cinsault
The Estate Crush Cinsault is the most fruit-forward and heaviest (although still relatively light) wine of the three. There are notes of strawberries, cranberries, and cherries balanced with savory and herbal notes. Fruity, smooth, and enjoyable! (13.8% alcohol, $26)
Two Shepherds 2013 Ancient Vines Cinsault
Two Shepherds Cinsault offers beautiful aromas showcasing strawberries along with hints of white pepper and herbs. Abundant, bright red fruit flavors sing in harmony on the palate and throughout the finish. The most elegant wine I have tasted from Bechthold Vineyard! (12.7% alcohol, $34)