“It’s kind of like crack,” remarked Kerri Platt, owner of the North End’s The Wine Bottega, when she saw me examining the Clos Cibonne Tibouren rosé. I wasn’t sure whether to run like hell or to buy it and immediately open it. I opted for the latter. After all, I couldn’t resist this unusual rosé produced from the Tibouren grape (how often do you hear of that?) and aged on its lees in 100 year old foudres for a year. During that year, a fleurette, or film of yeast, develops on top of the wine, similar to what happens to a vin jaune from Jura or with the flor on a fino Sherry.
The first thing you notice with this wine is the unique color, which is a lovely rusty pink. I’m afraid my photo does not do it justice. Since it is a rosé, I chilled it and served it cold, like a regular pink. But served too cold, the Clos Cibonne is closed and tight and does not reveal much of its character. I found it best served between refrigerator and room temperatures, which allows the nose, and particularly the palate, to open. The Clos Cibonne is not at all fruity, but rather entices with the results of its unusual vinification and ageing. It is nutty and slightly earthy. On the palate, there is a lovely softness that is slowly replaced by a crescendo of acidity.
While it’s not quite crack, this is an intriguing wine well worth seeking out.
At The Wine Bottega for $27.00.