Since buying Château d’Esclans in 2006, former Bordelais blue blood Sacha Lichine has transformed the rosé landscape. By purchasing grapes from his neighbours in Provence and installing ex-Mouton Rothschild winemaker Patrick Léon in the cellar, he has created one of the world's most successful wine brands, which consistently delivers on style and taste. It is the wine to have in your hand by the pool! Delicate pale pink, with lovely aromas of raspberries and red berries, with a fine volume and pretty finish.
This is so lovely with the strawberry and cream character but also so much minerality in the form of slate and chalk. Medium-bodied, this glides rather effortlessly on the palate but still shows flavorful notes of peaches and spices. Drink now.
I have been tracking this wine since day one – and I mean eleven years ago when Sacha Lichine realised his dream to launch an elite Provence Rosé. As every year rolls by Whispering Angel reaches out to thousands more palates. Nowadays millions of bottles are made, but the remarkable thing about this wine is that while its fame grows exponentially, the quality in the glass continues to march forwards, too. Made from Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle (Vermentino), Syrah and Tibouren, growing in vineyards surrounding the winery in La Motte en Provence, this is another sensual, silky-smooth, enthralling release and it comes in a vintage when there were many challenges during the growing season. Perhaps a little more forward than the dramatic 2016, this wine is already drinking beautifully. Whispering Angel casts its spell with unerring accuracy and it will continue to shine in the glass and impress all-comers throughout 2018.
Due north of St. Tropez lies Ch d'Esclans, the paradise for rosé lovers. Bought andrefurbished in 2006 by Sacha Lichine, the former owner of Château Prieuré Lichine in Margaux, he recognised the potential of its old vines (60-80 years old) and its terroir. He realised that they were capable of producing far greater and more complex creations than the friendly quaffing wines that are largely produced in the region. His goal was to create the best rosés in the world. With the help of Patrick Léon, Mouton Rothschild's former cellar master, in the space of only 2 years,he has remained true to his word by creating exceptional rosés, arguably the best in the world. They are complex and concentrated yet remain elegant and refreshing. "Make no mistake, these are exceptional wines." (Matthew Jukes, The Financial Times) mes)
France's most extensive appellation, the Côtes de Provence stretches from Toulon in the west to near Cannes in the east. The vineyards run from the sun-baked Mediterranean coast up into the Alpine foothills with their cooling influence. Rose wine accounts for four fifths of Côtes de Provence production. Formerly a drink for holidays only, consumption of rose is on the rise in both France and the UK and and the wines are more and more serious. Typically Cinsaut and Grenache are the most popular grape varieties. There is also a renewed focus on producing higher quality red wine by incorporating Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah into the blends, although combined they can only represent 30% of the blend. Plantings of indigenous white varieties are also increasing especially in the coastal areas.