Clos Cibonne has been called the R. López de Heredia of France, growing serious rosés that age well for a decade or more. They are based on Tibouren, a local variety that’s dropped out of favor because of its thin skins and uneven ripening. Cibonne has staked its reputation on Tibouren nonetheless, ever since the 1930s, when then-proprietor André Roux replanted all his Mourvèdre with it. This cuvée comes off the estate’s oldest vines, growing in schist within sight of the coast. It ages under a veil of yeast, like Sherry, in 100-year-old foudres, developing a pale copper hue and the scent of a cool, shady glade. Earthy with notes of hazelnuts, blood orange and lemon zest, as well as mouthwatering salinity, it’s the sort of rosé that could stand up to spiced lamb dishes, or rice-stuffed tomatoes.
Light amber-tinged orange. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, blood orange, succulent flowers and honey, and a dusty mineral note emerges as the wine opens up. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, offering concentrated red currant, blood orange and lavender pastille flavors and a touch of fennel. The mineral note adds lift and cut to a very long, chewy finish that shows a subtle hint of bitter peach pit. Drink 2019-2026. (JR)
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