Grapelive: Wine of the Day August 2, 2017

2015 Clos Cibonne, Tibouren Cuvee Speciale des Vignettes, Cru Classe, Cotes de Provence Rosé, France.
One of the most interesting wines in France, the Clos Cibonne Tibouren is a light Vin Gris (Rosé) made from a pale red grape that is extremely rare these days, Clos Cibonne is the only estate that is allowed to use Tibouren (varietal) on it’s labels do to it’s history and is one of only 18 Cru Classes in the Cotes du Provence. Clos Cibonne dates back to 1797 and still is is the hands of the Roux family descendants, with many re-vitalizations along the way, with Andre Roux making the historic decision in 1930 to ditch the post phylloxera Mourvedre and Grenache (brought in from Spain in the late 1,800’s) and to re-interoduce the native Tibouren grape being the one heroic moment that was the game changer here, though recent upgrades to the cellar and intriguing winemaking have elevated this estate to it’s current glory. The Cuvee Speciale des Vignettes Rosé is crafted from the oldest estate vines, about 60 years old on average, grown on schist soils, fermented in stainless with a light maceration then aged in 100 year old foudre(s) for a year on it’s lees under fleurette (Flor like fino sherry) which is unique and gives this Rosé it’s signaler style and character. The wine feels silky and earthy with a hint of cheesiness and truffle, it’s delicate orange/pink/salmon hue belies it’s depth and complexity, this is glorious old world wine with an inner vibrancy, but with wood aged silken textures, showing spicy mineral notes to go with subtle fruit essences that leans towards dried cherries, wild strawberry, quince paste, red peach and blood orange with hints of wilded rose, lavender, wet river stones, saline/iodine, faint nutty elements and damp/dankness. The tasting profile is refined, regardless of the wording and wonderfully seductive, even with it’s leathery wrapping, this is a Rosé by Clos Cibonne that fills the palate with cool crispness, but still rich in mouth feel and length making this a fascinating wine, and it can age for years!
($36 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

Grapelive: Wine of the Day August 1, 2017

2013 Domaine Drouhin-Laroze, Bonnes Mares, Grand Cru Red Burgundy, France.
This small estate in the heart of Gevrey-Chambertin has some great vineyard holdings in top Crus, including Clos de Beze, Musigny and this wine, which comes from a small parcel at Bonnes-Mares, it was founded back in 1850 and is still family run by Philippe and Christine Drouhin the 5th generation, with their kids ready to become the 6th soon. I’ve tasted a few of the amazing 2014’s at a trade tasting recently, but I must mention that this 2013 Bonnes Mares really lived up to this vineyard’s reputation of being wondrous and was a huge thrill, Domaine Drouhin-Laroze really delivered in a non-hyped vintage and it shows awesome Grand Cru class, this is a gorgeous and exotic Pinot Noir, in fact it over delivers for the price when compared to other Bonnes Mares, especially considering the year. While young and tight at first glance, with air this Drouhin-Laroze Bonnes Mares Grand Cru opens up to reveal dark violets, a rich tapestry of spice and mineral and deep extract with a palate of black cherry, dusty currant, wild plum and forest berries fruit as well as sweet leather, earth, anise, smoke, chanterelles, cinnamon and rose oil. This wine was absolutely adored by all those that drank it, it was enjoyed on a night of fantastic wines, including a ’47 Bordeaux, vintage Bandol and a 1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and it maybe took wine of the night! Brilliant detail, life and balance highlight this Burgundy, but it’s sexy nature and powerful richness seduced completely, Drouhin-Laroze’s Bonnes Mares (in the Chambolle-Musigny section) comes from calcareous pebbles, clay and ferruginous red soil and is aged in low to medium toast barrique, about 80% new. Bonnes Mares is known in Burgundy as the “Alien” because of it’s totally unique intensity and flavor profile with a generous array of weighty fruitiness, but with dynamic focus, vibrancy and length, it was named after a Roman artifact found here portraying a trinity of Roman goddesses, which was a tribute to good harvests, which this wine showcases! While the 2014 version will be a treasure, this 2013 is a stunner that will surprise with hedonistic pleasures, with a potential to age well for another decade with ease.
($156 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive