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A Rosé That Will Change Your Perception of, well, Rosé!

We so quickly sold out May's initial wine of the month, the 2014 Jean Foillard Morgon Cuvée Corcelette (thank you!), that we had to move up the timetable for our next featured wine. But we think this is fortuitous for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that our new feature is also very limited and very sought after by sommeliers and insiders . . . 

First . . . A Talk About Tibouren


Tibouren is an ancient red wine grape variety that is almost exclusively grown along the Mediterranean in Provence, and Liguria, and originated in Greece and possibly even the Middle East (lower Mesopotamia). There are sparse plantings in the vicinity of Rome, and some writings show that Julius Ceasar "praised the wines of Tibur which he greatly enjoyed."


Tibouren is intensely aromatic, with an earthy bouquet but is a demanding grape to grow due, in part, to its tendency to ripen unevenly and its susceptibility to coulure. Yet, in the privileged 15-hectare coastal vineyard, amid the sun-drenched schistose hills of the Clos Cibonne, thin-skinned Tibouren reaches its full potential, and is used to make one of Provence's most enigmatic and compelling rosés. 

A Brief History of Clos Cibonne


The property of Clos Cibonne dates back to 1797 when the Roux Family purchased it from Jean Baptiste de Cibon, captain of the royal marines of Louis XVI. In 1930, André Roux modernized the winery in order to pursue his goal of producing top quality wines at the estate. This revival ignited an era of fame for the rosés of Clos Cibonne.


In the 1980s, hard times fell upon the estate and it drifted without clear direction until Bridget, André Roux’s granddaughter, and her husband, Claude Deforge, took it over in the late 1990s. Their immediate goal was to bring the estate back to its former grandeur. By renovating the cellars while preserving the tradition of aging in old foudres, the family began to reestablish the vaunted reputation of the domaine. Thanks to their efforts Clos Cibonne once again lives up to its standing as one of the 18 Cru Classés in Côtes de Provence.


The heart of the estate is their Tibouren. André Roux was a great fan of this native varietal and believed it to be the ideal grape for the region. As part of his revitalization he replaced all of the estate’s Mourvèdre with Tibouren. Clos Cibonne soon became synonymous with Tibouren and received special permission from the A.O.C. to list the grape on its labels.


The estate’s 15 hectares of vineyards are located a mere 800 meters from the coast and are surrounded by hillsides in the base of a bowl that faces the sea. This topography creates air circulation that allows for perfect maturation of the grapes and helps to reduce vintage variation. After harvest, the wines are fermented in stainless steel and then aged underfleurette (a thin veil of yeast) in 100-year-old, 500L foudres.


Clos Cibonne crafts a wine that is completely its own through combining a rare grape with a unique aging process. There are two rosés currently available from the estate: the classic rosé and the Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes that is sourced only from the estate’s oldest vines. These two wines are complemented by the Cuvée Spéciale Tibouren, a unique red wine made primarily from Tibouren.

2014 Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Rosé Cru Classé


Made up of 90% Tibouren and 10% Grenache Noir in a traditional blend and style that has been produced at Clos Cibonne since 1930. What sets Clos Cibonne's rosé apart from the rest of the region is that it is aged for an additional year in hundred-year-old 500 liter wooden foudres under a veil of surface yeast called Fleurette. The result is a compelling wine with a orangey, salmon-pink color, and aromas of orange peel and raw almond along with warm, spicy notes. On the plate the wine is fresh and vibrant with fruit tones and saline notes. It has a silken texture, an overall mellowness and amazing minerality.


Try Clos Cibonne Rosé with Provençal dishes like red mullet fillets or saffrony bouillabaisse, or branch out and pair it with curried lamb, himply grilled chicken or green tomatoes.


List Price: $29.99 by the bottle.
Buy 12 bottles for $25.49 each.


Call Circle at 202-966-0600 to place your order, or email us your order by clicking the button, left.