That was the year the Roux family purchased the estate from Jean-Baptiste de Cibon and planted the rare goblet-trained Tibouren red variety. Tibouren is as obscure as the style of rosé that has been made here for centuries. And, the single red wine example from Cibonne is a departure stylistically from most Provence reds, as its lighter-bodied style and elegant personality strut their stuff when bottles are served chilled––a perfect summertime red.
The Cibonne rosés (five of them) are the main attraction here, and rightfully so, as they can all age and develop positively for a decade or more. Cuvée Tradition is aged in 100-year-old foudres sous-voile (under a thin veil of flor) giving faint hints of briny clementines and almonds. The fruit is not emphasized in this rosé like most, instead, notes of cardamon and anise take a prominent role next to the white peach and strawberry foundation.
If there's one thing that impresses all who drink Cibonne's rosés for the first time, it is surely the un-ending finish that lingers with spice and salty fruit thanks to the proximity of Cibonne's vines from the Mediterranean, just 800 meters away. If you've ever wanted a jolt of excitement for Provence reds or rosés, this is the historic domaine you need to try.
In 1941, Lulu and Lucien Peyraud put Bandol on the AOC map by petitioning for official recognition. Today, Domaine Tempier is perhaps more synonymous with its appellation than any domaine in France. While there's a push each year to get the new vintage of their rosé on the market to quench the ever-increasing thirst of summer's appetite, the best of Tempier's rosé is always yet to come through bottle development.
Domaine Tempier's 2022 Bandol Rosé just arrived, plus a restock of the 2021 vintage is on the way! The rosé blend is 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault, planted on limestone and clay soils above the Mediterranean Coast. The secret to this highly coveted pink is its ability to transform over time while holding onto that critical freshness. Visiting the domaine in July 2016 proved these back-vintage rosés and reds deserve their place among France's most cherished estates.
Popular Provence producer, Domaine Ott, might be distracting with its glossy, double-page magazine ads, but the smaller grower-producer estates here offer the highest quality and complexity. Mediterranean's seaside towns, Saint-Tropez and Nice, represent some of France's most luxurious enclaves. You may even be lucky enough to come across Cassis, a more private setting that nearly resembles Hollywood hills.
Bagnol's Cassis rosé is comprised of 55% Grenache, 31% Mourvedre, and 14% Cinsault. The setting of the vineyards is directly on top of the Mediterranean, endowing a salty sea-breeze element taken a step further than your typical ocean-influenced pink. My first sip of Bagnol's rosé was a proverbial light bulb moment. The combo of deliciousness with finely-etched mineral threads woven throughout this complex rosé was simply in a category of its own.
If Tempier's Mourvedre-dominant rosé shows the most exquisite full-bodied form, then Bagnol's Grenache-dominant rosé is about racy, wild strawberry and citrus tones. Bagnol might not have the same wide-cast spotlight as other Provence producers, but with only 500 cases imported annually to the U.S., it's one of my go-to secret pinks for the home cellar.
Marquiliani's pale copper-hued, diamond-cut rosé from Corsica is one of our most highly anticipated rosé releases each year. The native Sciaccarellu grape is grown here on decomposed granite terraces a couple of miles from the Mediterranean, just below the towering 8,000 foot Mount Renosu, ensuring cool breezes to balance out the island's hot summer temperatures.
Here, every single grape grown is destined to be rosé. Vin de Corse Rosé shows the domaine's more incisive, linear style of rosé. The smaller production Rosé de Pauline is a touch broader on the palate but counter-intuitively paler in color than the Vin de Corse. Even with Syrah's more prominent role here, this is rosé at its most featherweight and saline-driven.
Anne Almaric tends these minuscule two hectares of vines, which her family took over in the 1950s. There was a 20-year span where this centuries old domaine was abandoned, and Anne's father was the first to plant Sciaccarellu on the eastern side of the island. Anne's background in agricultural chemistry lends a keen eye toward viticulture, and the vines have prospered under her watch.
If Thibaud Boudignon's Chenin Blancs are the lightning of Anjou, then his rosé brings the thunder. Here lies a prime example of how Cabernet Franc-based rosé can still be true to the variety, with crunchy, dark fruit notes, electric tones, and minerality often elusive in these parts (Direct pressing still keeps this rosé ultra pale, though). The unusual melding of a cotton candy element with a healthy dose of sea salt makes this one of the most irresistible pinks.
A June 2016 visit to Boudignon's estate on the outskirts of Savennières left a lasting impression. He's shaking things up in Central Loire, shifting the conversation on everything from aging vessels to picking dates and fermentation philosophy. In short, Boudignon's Chenins re-define Anjou, and his rosé carries that same hallmark of verve. Provence usually gets the spotlight during rosé season, but the Loire delivers just as much refreshment!