Rosé revolution

17 August 2015 by Paul

Cast your mind back a few years and you’ll remember that the rosé wine world was a very different place, awash with sickly-sweet pale blush wines where what little taste was best anaesthetised with a few ice cubes. And not forgetting the deeply-coloured cough-syrupy confected concoctions best reserved for pairing with a strong curry.

A photo of the front of Chateau d'Esclans

The amazingly picturesque Château d’Esclans

Though, of course, I must admit to having enjoyed the odd few glasses of the stuff during my youth, it’s little wonder that the rosé wines of those days weren’t taken seriously. However, in the years since we’ve witnessed the astonishing growth in popularity of delicately pink, dry and achingly fashionable rosés, most notably those originating from Provence. As Jancis Robinson says, “Pink wine production is now seen as a serious business around the world – not least thanks to the efforts of Sacha Lichine … and his team at Château d’Esclans …which has really raised the bar of ambition among producers …”

Lichine certainly knows a thing or two about quality wine production. Up until 1999 he was proprietor of Château Prieuré-Lichine in Margaux. He acquired Esclans in 2006, convinced that the terroir and climate were conducive to producing serious wine. Quality is paramount: The same care and attention is lavished upon the grapes as in any of the top Bordeaux properties. Patrick Leon, former MD of Château Mouton-Rothschild is consultant winemaker. Their top-of-the-range rosé Garrus, can now sell for an eye-watering £100 a bottle. Fortunately it has a more affordable sibling, Whispering Angel, which has been taking the world by storm, and for many of our customers has been the defining rosé of this summertime.

Just in time for the Bank Holiday weekend, we’re offering you the chance to buy Whispering Angel at the reduced price of £16 (down from £20), either in our shops by the bottle, or online by the case.

ACCOLADES FOR WHISPERING ANGEL

“Château d’Esclans is undoubtedly the hottest property of Provençal …rosé. This
offers very good value … for a wine with no less than seven varieties in the blend
(Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Tibouren, Vermentino) and
endless delicacy and perfume. pale and peachy in both colour and flavour, it has
pin-point acidity into a long, dry finish, though nuanced and holding interest to the
last drop. 91/100.” – Tom Cannavan, wine-pages.com

“The 2014 Château d’Esclans ‘Whispering Angel’ is a fascinating blend of seven
varieties (six red and one white) with enormous character. There’s complex ripe red
fruit, plenty of acidity and a tongue-tinglingly herbal, spicy finish. No surprise to
learn that it’s … Lichine’s … bestselling rosé by miles.” – Jonathan Ray, The
Spectator

“Nutty, waxy and weighty, this is vital and fresh, but with an appealingly earthy
undertow. There’s an attack of wild strawberry on a succulent palate which holds
layers of flavour, a nutty core, with the finish really stretching out to a great length.
Urbane and mightily impressive.” Awarded a Gold Medal at the Decanter World
Wine Awards 2015 www.decanter.com