2016 Mas de Libian Bout D’Zan Rose
Region: Cotes du Rhone < France
Grapes: Grenache, Counoise, Syrah
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified biodynamic farming; mixture of clay-limestone, galets roulés and sandy soils; 6 months aging in used barrels, then 4-month natural fermentation in bottle; minimal added SO2 at bottling only
Winemaker: Hélène Thibon
NEW VINTAGE ALERT: Bringing you the 2016 of this crisp, coppery rosé, grown biodynamically by the three sisters who run Mas de Libian, a family estate that dates back to the 1600s. They took over the organic farm, set on a plateau in the rocky terrain of the Ardèche region of the Southern Rhone, from their papa, who had the girls helping out in the vineyards from a young age. The family horse still pulls the plough through the vineyard. No chemicals are used, and very low yields are the norm. The Bout d’Zan (the name referring to a traditional French licorice candy, and is also a nickname the sisters use for their father) is made in the classic Provençal style, with all three varieties being delicately pressed into tank after a short maceration. The result is a structured and complex rose that reminds me of a vibrant baby Bandol. Savory and herbal, with sage and rosemary and lively, crunchy red fruit. Perfect for these late winter days, but with legs to take it through spring and beyond.