BOSTON, MA — The light’s been shifting for weeks now, and while it’s still cold, and we’ve still squalls of snow, Spring is on the horizon. I’m getting ahead of myself, I know, it’s customary.
As January lets go and February takes hold, I’m on the prowl for the first fearless buds soon to be spotted where the sun strikes her gaze for a three step linger. It’s usually crocus, scattered about in groups, willing to brave the sea-saw temperatures yet to come.
The coming of Spring, again, a ways off, brings to mind tempting rosé. And the first rosé to hit retail shelves is a beloved darling from Provence. Enter, Clos Cibonne.
Nestled in sun blessed Southern France-Mistral swept in the winter-is a producer making wines with Tibouren, a grape much less known than Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre-most often the blending grapes in the wines of Provence.
Located in the town of Le Pradet, a village equidistant between Marseille and Cannes, the vineyards of Clos Cibonne sway out and over toward the Mediterranean, and the mineral laced soils drawing from the ocean bring a balancing act minerality to a beautiful, heady style of rosé.
These rosés are atypical in that each vintage is held back a year, hence the early release, with the wines aging ‘sur la fleurette’, or ‘sous-voile’, meaning ‘under the veil’, and in this case, under a veil of yeast. As with Fino sherry, a yeast is allowed to form over the wine. The result is equal parts nuance and grace. Current release = 2015.
The Cru Classé, predominately made with the grape Tibouren, and a whisper of Grenache, offers a deceptively subtle weight, a touch of orange peel, and a bit of spice. It’s round, and yet steely in its finish, with a lift of well integrated acidity, and it’s nervy. Here, we’ve personality in a rosé, an all food match. Currently spied and purchased at Central Bottle in Central Square.
2015 Clos Cibonne Tibouren Rosé ‘Cru Classé’ Côtes de Provence France, retails @ $22.