Move over Mateus rosé and Blossom Hill, posh pinks are the summer wine shade to be seen with when the mercury rises. Boosted by the rosé revival, wave after wave of serious top-drawer pinks have washed up here for several summers. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s really rather delicious, fresh pear and gariguette strawberry-scented 2014 Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé, was the swanks’ summer pink wine of choice. Not any more.
The world’s finest pink wines continue to come from Provence and the pink-wine king now is Sacha Lichine, whose Russian father, Alexis Lichine, transformed Bordeaux fourth growth, Château Prieuré-Lichine. Ditching dull Bordeaux for glamorous Provence, Sacha was determined to make a serious pink, fetching serious money, at his grand Château d’Esclans estate at La Motte.
Thanks to oak ageing, lots of TLC and rare Provençal grapes, Lichine has succeeded but not with all of his rosés. The world’s most expensive still rosé is Lichine’s 2013 Garrus, but its spicy morello cherry fruit closes on a chewy bitter oak and spirity 14 per cent alcohol finish.
There is even a kosher version for £122.70. Never mind. Among Lichine’s wines, the bottle to buy this summer is the seductive, savoury, salty, white peach-scented 2014 Château d’Esclans Rock Angel. Well-heeled drinkers who want to keep cool with rosé this summer, take note.
Jane MacQuitty, Times wine expert