Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Cuvee Speciale Tibouren 2016
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 under fleurette (a thin veil of yeast) in 100-year-old, 1500L foudres. Clos Cibonne crafts a wine that is completely it's 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.
Cotes de Provence is an extensive but valuable appellation that includes vineyards bordering the main Provencal appellations. Its sites vary from subalpine hills, which receive the cooling effects of the mountains to the north, to the coastal St-Tropez, a region mainly influenced by the warm Mediterranean sunshine.
Here the focus is on quality rosé, as it defines four fifths of the region’s wines. Following in the rosé footsteps, a lot of new effort is going into the region’s red production as well. A new generation has turned its focus on high quality Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan. Cotes de Provence white wines, which represent a miniscule part of the region as far as volume, are nonetheless worthy of consideration and can include any combination of Clairette, Semillon, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.