Caves d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, Whispering Angel Rosé 2014, $17.99-$27.99
The color is a beautiful, pale salmon pink that promises cool refreshment. The strawberry and raspberry flavors are lusciously juicy, but the wine is dry and crisp, vibrant with lively, citrusy acidity. It looks pale and delicate, yet it is intense and complex.
If you think rosé is not serious wine, one taste will prove you deliciously wrong. Yes, it is a bracing and satisfying aperitif, but it also has the structure, intensity and complexity to accompany a grilled salmon or a Niçoise salad.
Château d’Esclans is a rosé winery producing wines priced from $20 to $100. The grenache, vermentino (called rolle in this part of southern France) and cinsault grapes are farmed to make rosé. The grape harvesting and winemaking are all about preserving fresh fruit flavors.
Sacha Lichine is the mastermind behind the 108 acres of vineyards on an estate with a history dating from the 1200s. He grew up around the wine business of his father, Alexis Lichine, author of Wines of France and proprietor of Château Prieuré-Lichine. Sacha Lichine took over the management of this property when he was 27 and sold the winery after his father’s death.
Find it at Central Market, Eatzi’s, Goody Goody, Pogo’s, Total Wine and Whole Foods Market.