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Clos Cibonne, Cotes de Provence Cru Classé Rosé Cuvee Homage a Marius, 2017

Rosé Wine from Provence, France
$75.99

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For a long time Clos Cibonne was an insider's wine. Known almost exclusively for their late-release, flor-fermented rosés, their pink gems were gobbled up by wine geeks and ignored by everyone else, similar to the equally challenging Rosado from López de Heredia. Even their red, which doesn’t see flor, but has a similar floral/savory quality, rarely found its way onto wine lists or store shelves. Their wines are a study in duality: pure-fruited, but also intensely mineral, salty and savory.

People are catching on.

Their wines are made from the nearly extinct varietal Tibouren. It used to be much more common, but after it was wiped out by phylloxera the authorities commanded everyone to replant Mourvèdre. The Roux family followed suit, but then promptly cut the heads off the Mourvèdre vines to graft on their beloved Tibouren.

Tibouren is finicky, which is probably the reason the authorities banned it. But Clos Cibonne is on a peninsula just 800m from the Mediterranean and its salty sea breezes protect the fragile grapes. Tibouren also has to be picked early to preserve its freshness. Clos Cibonne starts harvesting super early, when it's still cool, and stops picking by 11am. It's hard work, but the Roux family takes care of their pickers, bringing in a Bouillabaise truck for lunch.

The winemaking techniques are also hundreds of years old and just about extinct. For the rose, wine starts fermenting spontaneously and then goes into giant, ancient wooden foudres for a year. That’s where flor (a veil of yeast just like you get in Sherry or the Jura) grows on top of the wine, protecting it from oxidation and imparting a unique, savory character. Their red Tibouren also spontaneously ferments and then is transferred into the same wooden foudres. However it stays in foudre for only for about 4 months and never grows a veil of flor.

When it's finally ready to bottled the family still isn't done: they hold all their estate wines back for bottle aging, not rushing out the latest vintage to maximize cash flow. The wine gets the time to come together and start to develop the complexity that will grow more pronounced if you take the time to age it further yourself.

So, odd as the wine may be, it's easy to see why the wine is catching on. Pure fruit flavors combined with sea breeze and touches of savory herbs with an underpinning of minerality make for make for some of the most remarkable Provençal wines around.

Professional Reviews

Decanter

D 98
"This 15ha property overlooking Toulon harbour has been part of the Roux family’s ancestry for almost 230 years. It wasn’t until 1930 that André Roux decided to dedicate the land exclusively to vines, especially the ancient variety Tibouren - not widely planted outside Provence, this is an intensely aromatic black grape with a thin skin, which is notoriously difficult to grow. The family still champions Tibouren, which makes up 90% of its vineyards, and some plots are more than 50 years old. Elizabeth Gabay MW: Orange. Lots of new oak on the nose. New oak on the palate gives richness and oomph. Oranges, dried apricots, long saline mineral acidity balancing new oak. Joanna Simon: Orangey. Deep and complex nose of spice, dried peach and oak. Concentrated, complex, richly textured palate with spicy, dried-flower notes and baking bread; breadth, length and graceful mineral-fresh notes. Rod Smith MW: Oaky and slightly spicy aromas: plenty of honeyed, rich straw, baked fruit underneath. Complex, delicious and deeply flavoured with baked citrus, honey and apricot. Good balance and lovely phenolic grip on the finish. Certainly approachable now, but no hurry to drink."

Details

  • Grape Variety

    Grenache , Tibouren

  • Vintage

    2017

  • Size

    750ml

  • Farming Practice

    Biodynamic

Customer Reviews

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Alexis Beltrami

Hasn’t been consumed yet, waiting for the right opportunity!

Hi Alexis,

We're happy to hear that you are waiting in great anticipation to enjoy the Clos Cibonne, Cotes de Provence Cru Classé Rosé Cuvee Homage a Marius, 2017. Though this wine has a many good years ahead of it, we find that it usually sings as partner to the flavors and ingredients that will begin to show up as Summer transitions to Fall, which is to say, the right opportunity might just be right on the horizon. ;)

We are so happy to have you as part of the Flatiron Wines family and hope to see you again soon!

-Your Friends at Flatiron Wines