Our selection comes from the Ramatuelle co-op in Provence. The winery was built in 1954, but since 2000 has been edging toward sustainability. Today Ramatuelle is comprised of 120 owners with nearly 400 acres of grapes in some of the prime appellations in Provence.
But this story is about the Tibouren grape. It is an ancient grape that predates the Roman Empire more than 2,500 years ago. It spread over most of Northern Italy, close to the French border, because it was easy to grow and resistant to insects and disease. In Italy it was known as Roesse. It didn't reach France until the 18th Century when an Italian sea captain named Antiboul brought cuttings from his homeland.
As was the custom before there was grape analysis, the grape was named after the man who brought it, Antiboul, which later became Tibouren. Along with the grape came the lore propagated by the producers that the grape needs to "see the sea" in order to grow to its full potential. It's a hard concept to argue when the wine comes out so well.
The 40 year average age of the vines is what accounts for the intense flavors. Many of the plots are over 100 years old and are now completely organic. Those conditions are impossible to find in the New World. It all comes together with orange hues and flavors, spicy notes and peach. The presence could stand up to garlic chicken in a black bean sauce or eggplant Parmigiano.