New York Wine Examiner – The first rosé of the season: Whispering Angel 2014


Believe it or not, it’s almost rosé season. Like the crocus, it’s a harbinger that spring is trying to push free of winter. While we’re struggling with cold, sleet, snow and freezing rain, I’m drinking my first rosé from the 2014 vintage.

I was very excited to try the 2014 Whispering Angel when the importer sent it to me to sample. It’s not in the market yet, but it will be and it’s widely distributed. So it will be pretty easy to find in March/April.

This is rosé from Provence, the spiritual home of pink wine. About 80% of the wine made in Provence is rosé so they are easy to find in stores. The rosés of Provence are among the palest and lightest of all rosé wines, Whispering Angel is on the pale and light side of those.

I don’t have the technical data for the 2014 vintage, but Whispering Angel is generally a blend of Grenache, Rolle (aka Vermentino), Cinsault, Syrah and possibly some other grapes. The juice is always vinified in stainless steel to create a wine that is fresh and bright with a dry clean finish.

In Europe you can’t blend white and red wine together to make rosé. You can, however, vinify the red and white grapes together. The process is the same as when you use only red grapes, and the pink color still comes from the skins of those red grapes.

The 2014 Whispering Angel is a beautiful peachy pink or light salmon color. The nose is fresh with pure, sweet notes of raspberry and strawberry. The wine is completely dry with a slight glycerol roundness married to a serious acid backbone. Those same pure fruit aromas are mirrored on the palate. The wine is fresh and bright; it’s expansive on the mid-palate, and has long, clean, fresh finish.

This is a wine to pair with just about anything short of heavy meat dishes. It would be wonderful with prosciutto, cheeses, salads, just about any chicken or fish dish. Pasta with tomato sauce, pizza, grilled vegetables are also lovely partners for this wine.

It’s an easy wine to recommend; it should retail in the $20 range when it comes to market.

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