A potted history.
This 17th century estate - one of eighteen in Provence with Cru Classé status - in the Maures hills overlooking Toulon is the proudest and finest custodian of a pretty special grape: Tibouren. It was here in the 1930s that André Roux decided to devote his vineyards to Tibouren, which had been in drastic decline since the onset of the phylloxera blight. Clos Cibonne draws its name from Jean-Baptiste de Cibon, captain of Louis XVI's Royal navy and first owner of the vineyard. After his death in 1797, the property was sold to the Roux family's ancestors. An ancient Mediterranean variety reputedly favoured by Julius Caesar, Tibouren was transported over the Alps by Napoleon’s troops and took root in Liguria as Rossese. Here in Provence it makes thirst-quenching, smoky, sapid pinks, and earthy, red-fruited fine reds. André’s children and grandchildren have followed in his footsteps and elevated Clos Cibonne to iconic status. Today’s wines are from organic vineyards, expertly executed and wrapped in beautiful, timeless labels, unchanged for nearly a century. Along with the likes of Domaine Tempier, they’re among a rare group of Provençal producers proud to cellar their rosé, as we discovered when opening a magnificent 1978 on a recent visit.