Clos Cibonne Tentations Rose Cotes de Provence 2020
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Clos Cibonne, with its 15 hectares of vineyards is located 800 meters from the Mediterranean Sea along the coast between Marseilles and Nice. Over the years, it has achieved cult status for producing complex Provençal Rosés and Reds from the rare grape variety Tibouren. Andre Roux brought the winery to prominence in the 1930s and was dedicated to producing wines from Tibouren. In the 1950s, Clos Cibonne was awarded one of 18 Cru Classé designations in Provence and he was instrumental in not only helping to create the Côtes de Provence appellation in 1973 but in the inclusion of his own beloved Tibouren in the list of allowed grapes. The winery subsequently received special permission to list Tibouren on the label. Over the years the winery was handed down through the generations of the family until now, when Olivier Deforges is the 5th generation of the family to work at the winery. Olivier is the vineyard manager and winemaker. Under his direction and with an emphasis on pristine viticulture, Clos Cibonne has transitioned to organic viticulture and in 2019 it received organic certification.
Without a doubt, Clos Cibonne is synomous with the grape Tibouren, a thin-skinned variety originally from Macedonia known for being prone to uneven ripening (couloure). This tendency makes the location of the Clos Cibonne vineyards—nestled at the foot of hills that form a bowl facing the Mediterranean Sea with its wind and sun—a prime site. This allows for optimum circulation of the sea breezes and the famed Mistral wind of Provence—two important factors for ripening the grapes and preventing rot.
In addition to their traditional line of wines with their almost exclusive use of Tibouren (they also grow Grenache), Clos Cibonne makes a Tentations line of wines. These wines are meant to be an entry point to wines of Provence featuring young vine Tibouren (15%) from their own vineyards and Grenache (50%), Cinsault (20%), and Syrah (15%) from neighboring farmers with vineyards in prime locations. The wine is aged in stainless steel, spends two months on the lees and is organic and vegan. The Tentations is pale salmon colored. On the nose, strawberries, sour cherries and lime zest combine for a lightly candied fruity aroma. The palate echos the candied fruit notes, but exhibits a hint of herbs and a smidge of anise. The high acidity is tamed by the friendliness of the fruit profile—making it perfect to sip on the patio or to pair with food.