For centuries, Clos Cibonne has bravely forged their own distinct path. They have held true to a tradition of making age-worthy fine wines which happen to be rosé, in the midst of an appellation which rewards fitting in and churning out the same-but-different rosé wines which are ubiquitous throughout Côtes de Provence. It is this independence and originality that has made Clos Cibonne one of the most sought after cult wineries in France, with demand greatly outpacing their artisan-scale production.
The modern era at Clos Cibonne property began in 1793 when the Roux family purchased it from Jean-Baptiste de Cibon, a captain in the royal marines of Louis XVI. Jean-Baptiste de Cibon served under the command of Lafayette in the American Revolutionary War against the British, playing an instrumental role in that history. Jean-Baptiste moved his family to Gibraltar at the outset of the French Revolutionary War, transferring ownership to the families who had traditionally farmed the estate; the Roux family was one of those farmers. Some bottles still survive at the estate from Marius Roux, who made wines under the Château Cibon label in the late 1800’s at the property.
Château Cibon Cuvée Marius is a tribute to Marius Roux, the modern founder of Clos Cibonne and defender of the tibouren grape in Provence in the 1800s. Marius Roux, born in 1875, led the estate’s destiny, passing it to his wife Valentine, who inherited the lands around the Castle of Cibonne. It was Marius who first focused the estate solely on wine production. The label is a recreation of the original labels of the late 1800s, when the winery was called Château Cibon. This design predates their iconic labels designed in the 1920s, which still adorn their other cuvées today.
The Château Cibon Cuvée Marius is inspired and informed by the incredible vintages of Clos Cibonne, which survived and improved in their cellar from top vintages of decades past. Old methods of (slightly) higher alcohols and phenological ripeness, combined with barrel aging, built classic wines with the structure to age and improved for a long time. Utilizing similar techniques, albeit with a modern winemaker’s knowledge and tools, they have managed to craft a beautifully rich and complexly structured wine, built to develop for decades to come with proper time in the cellar.
The vineyard, one of 18 Crus Classés of Côtes de Provence, consists of organically farmed, traditional goblet trained vines located close to the Mediterranean Sea in the foothills of the Maures mountains, overlooking Toulon’s harbor. Cuvée Marius is made from a single over 60-year-old parcel just 800 meters from the ocean with extremely low-yielding vines producing no more than 26 hl/ha.
Vinification – Following an early morning manual harvest, the grapes are all destemmed and directly pressed. Native yeasts then ferment the must in new 2600L French foudres. These are temperature-controlled for a long, slow fermentation, which enhances the aromatics. The wine then spends 24 months in the same foudres, with regular bâtonnage for the first six months.