How does Whispering Angel achieve such a pale color with a rich palate?
They make sure to pick their fruit when it is ripe (5 days up to 2 weeks later), as opposed to some other wineries picking under ripe fruit, which achieves a pale color but green notes. Whispering Angel picks during the wee hours of the morning while it is cool, destems immediately, then the grapes go through a heat exchange that brings their temperature down to 7-8C (44-46F), and then gentle pressing by their German Bucher Press. Since the grapes are cold, they give very little color. Yes, they have thorough selection practices (human and optical eye) with a short maceration (bleeding off aka Saignee method) that all adds to the very pale color. But I found the cold temperature = less extraction of color interesting. Also, extensive battonage (lees stirring) develops a creamy texture, and that technique, with the addition of using ripe fruit, gives a rich mouthfeel while keeping that fragile pink color.
2013 Chateau D’Esclans Cotes de Provence Rosé “Whispering Angel”
(Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah, and Mouvedre) :
As a wine nerd you always want to pick the lesser known wine as one of your favorites…. I have to give it to Whispering Angel, they know how to make an elegant rosé, no rough edges, smooth until the very end of the finish, very good length and nice complexity (mineral and floral notes)….always impresses the staff…. lightest color with the exception of the Petite Cassagne