WINE TRIBUNE In Defense of Rosé

By Carolyn Evans-Hammond, published in Outreach Connection, Toronto.

The other day, I tasted a flight of four rosés from the Côtes de Provence from a new estate called Chateau D’Esclans. These were much more expensive than your average rosés; they ranged from about $20 to $100 per bottle. With each sip, I sensed with increasing certainty these rosés were distinguished. The final wine called Garrus actually tasted like fine white Burgundy. It was elegant and subtle with equal portions of clean fruit extract and crushed minerals layered with biscuity notes, and the lightest strokes of strawberry and cooked apple as well as feathery notes of warm buttered bread and toasty oak. It was full of finesse. And at $100 a pop, it needed to be. It is the most expensive pink wine in the world today outside of Champagne.

But how many people would fork out that much cash for a rosé? I posed this very question to Sacha, whose full name is Sacha Alexis Lichine—an important name in the wine world because he used to own the famous Chateau Prieuré-Lichine in Bordeaux.

“The wines sold out at the Chateau in two weeks and this was the first vintage. Next year’s wines will be better,” said Sacha who was taking me through the tasting at the Rosewater Supper Club in Toronto. Producing “serious” rosés at Chateau D’Esclans is his most recent project where he crafts his wines with Bordeaux bigwig Patrick Léon who made the prestigious Chateau Mouton Rothschild for years. “Mouton”, as it’s lovingly called by wine folk, sells for hundreds of dollars a bottle if you can get your hands on it.

Sacha’s rosés are becoming similarly sought after with demand quickly outstripping supply but you can now purchase them in Toronto by the case through Wine Guy Imports.