Hasko says: “The Cuvée Caroline from Clos Cibonne has a weightiness to it without being heavy or flabby, which can balance the richness of the duck and the sweetness of the hoisin sauce. I look at the Rosés from Clos Cibonne as something closer to a light red than a traditional Provence Rosé, which adds a great degree of versatility for pairings.
My first time trying Clos Cibonne would have been 6 to 7 years ago. I was at a friend’s restaurant in Hermitage, in the Rhone, who’s also a Master Sommelier. He brought a blind wine, which was such an eye-opening glass. I was blown away. I’ve since followed the wines and am super happy to see them in Singapore now.
While I really like Rosé, very much like my preference for sake, I am drawn towards things of interest, not quite just cookie-cutter Provence: things like Valentini’s Cerasuolo, Vina Tondonia’s truly unique Rosé, Arnot Roberts’ expression using Touriga Nacional—Clos Cibonne certainly fits within this ‘group’. Their use of a native variety like Tibouren, well-integrated oak and ageing potential all add to the special story that is this wine.”
Clos Cibonne has long championed the native Provençal variety Tibouren, and today it still remains at the heart of the estate, with a series of Rosé and red expressions focused around the variety. Ownership of the property dates back to 1797, when the Roux family purchased it from Jean Baptiste de Cibon, captain of the royal marines of Louis XVI. All the hard work has been fruitful—Clos Cibonne has since been promoted to one of the 18 Cru Classés in Côtes de Provence.
As one of Clos Cibonne’s prestige Rosé expressions, Cuvée Caroline is named after the daughter of Claude and Brigitte, who currently head the estate. It is sourced only from plots over 40 years old that are organically farmed and planted on calcareous clay and schist. Across these plots, it results in a blend of 85% Tibouren, 10% Grenache and 5% Syrah.
Its approach in the cellars is centred on its use of 300L French oak and regular battonage, with roughly one-third being new barrels—you’ll find that there aren’t too many Rosés with new oak used!
The resulting wine has a richness and complexity that is approachable and young, but also develops beautifully with time in the cellar. This is certainly not a Rosé for the faint-hearted, and it demonstrates the potential of the category at its extremes.