Clos Cibonne Rose Vignettes 2020
Red fruit stars with raspberry, blood orange, and bread dough elements, showing on the palate in this mineral-driven rosé.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Clos Cibonne is not only an incredibly original property in Provence, ensconced by the natural beauty of their landscape, producing wines which always transcend the rosé category, but they are also an anomaly within France in general. For centuries, Clos Cibonne has bravely forged their own distinct path. They have held true to a tradition of making age-worthy fine wines which happen to be rosé, in the midst of an appellation which rewards fitting in and churning out the same-but-different rosé wines which are ubiquitous throughout Côtes de Provence. It is this independence and originality that has made Clos Cibonne one of the most sought after cult wineries in France, with demand greatly outpacing their artisan-scale production.
The modern era at Clos Cibonne property began in 1793 when the Roux family purchased it from Jean-Baptiste de Cibon, a captain in the royal marines of Louis XVI. André Roux was the great architect of the modern winery in order to pursue his goal of producing top-quality wines at the estate. It was André Roux who planted the estate exclusively to the rare tibouren grape, creating the iconic labels which remain unchanged to this day. This revival ignited an era of fame for the rosés of Clos Cibonne, which led to their inclusion in a 1950’s classification of 18 Cru Classés in Côtes de Provence. André Roux was also instrumental in the creation of the Côtes de Provence appellation in 1973 and responsible for the inclusion of his beloved tibouren grape into the region’s list of accepted grape varieties.
In the 1980s, hard times fell upon the estate and it drifted without clear direction until Brigitte, André Roux’s granddaughter, and her husband, Claude Deforges, took over the family property in 1993. Their immediate goal was to bring the estate back to its former grandeur. By renovating the cellars while preserving the tradition of aging in their large old foudres which are more than 100 years old at this point, the family began to reestablish the vaunted reputation of the domaine. Fifth-generation winemaker Olivier Deforges has taken over as both vineyard manager and winemaker (the winery currently has only one other employee, otherwise the family still does all of the work themselves). Olivier has focused his energy on impeccable viticulture, after transitioning to organic viticulture for the last decade, they are now certified organic since the 2019 vintage. Thanks to Olivier and his family efforts, Clos Cibonne once again occupies one of the most respected positions in Provence.
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 which allows for ideal maturation of the grapes. Clos Cibonne crafts a wine that is completely its own through combining a rare grape with a unique aging process. The resulting wines have impeccable balance & freshness, with incredible structure and superb drinkability over many years.
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.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.