THE ROYAL GAZETTE

The world gets a brand-new wine

Master of Wine: Matthew Jukes

During a meeting with wine producers at the New York Wine Experience last October, I was told of a brand-new creation that they intended to release in January of this year.

The name and concept appealed to me and I assured them that we would introduce it to Bermuda, sight unseen.

Well, it has arrived and, as I wrote to my contact, “I have to say that I am pretty darned upset”.

They designed a “Bermuda Pink” screw cap and skirt that matched our famous beaches and many of our homes; the high-quality label is quite beautiful with its palm trees and Bermuda lookalike vegetation.

The wine itself is delicious. Folks that are not classified a severe deutan, such as I, assure me that it exhibits a beautiful light rose colour in the glass.

According to one online review: “It is effortlessly chic and has a distinct island feel to it. Crafted with the best grapes from Provence, The Palm has all the hallmarks of a top-quality Provence rosé — light, wild salmon pink, fresh, dry, elegant and crisp with terrific subtle fruit flavours. A star is born … we need say no more.”

Why would I complain so bitterly about The Palm 2017 Provence Rosé by Whispering Angel? My beef is that as soon as it was announced at the end of December their total production for the whole year was snapped up.

Fortunately, I am rather good at begging and grovelling and — just to keep me quiet — we have had our allocation increased somewhat and we do hope to keep this wine in stock for the summer season.

The wine is a blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah, all selected from a sub-appellation of Provence called Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence.

Although a very enjoyable rosé, it does not quite reach the complexity of its big sister, Whispering Angel, and this reflects in the price of $23.80.

It was only in February that I spoke about the return of Whispering Angel that sold out here last October (it had done so, far earlier at the winery).

I wrote of the 2017 vintage and I confessed to tiny concerns regarding quality as production increased.

I was put at ease by the comments of well-known Master of Wine Matthew Jukes: “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 forward too.

“Made from grenache, cinsault, rolle (vermintino), syrah and tibouren, growing in vineyards surrounding the winery in La Motte en Provence, this is another sensual, silky-smooth, enthralling release.

“Perhaps a little more forward than the dramatic 2016, and yet more succulent. I can tell you that in the last few days of 2017 this wine is already drinking beautifully.

“Only three months after harvest, Whispering Angel is casting its spell with unerring accuracy and it will continue to shine in the glass and impress all.”

Although representing this range of wines is rather like holding a tiger by the tail, I do hope that I have convinced the winery and they have allotted us enough to get right through to their next vintage.

Like Palm, all requests had to be made by the end of January and now their total production has been spoken for. $26.95.

It is possibly best, dear reader ,if you cease reading now as we do not have a drop of the wine I am going to refer to.

We have totally sold out of the “big sister” that Chateau D’Esclans calls Rock Angel. You see, we had the 2015 that The Wall Street Journal mentioned in this way: “Beautifully balanced, lovely satin texture. Hugely appetising. A complex mouthful.” We sold it all at $34 a bottle.

Now, we wait for the arrival of our allotment for this year in the next few weeks. Even though I complained passionately that it would only last us for a little more than a couple of months, I could not wheedle a drop more out of them.

For those who did read on, I can say that we have limited stocks of their top rosé, Chateau D’Esclans Les Clans.

It is a wine that transcends anything a mere mortal would hope for and it sells for $58.90. Of course, you know that I am going to say that the winery has sold out and that we are expecting our tiny share of the newest vintage shortly.

Please have a very rosé summer — we promise to battle on to supply you with your favourite summer sip.

By Michael Robinson