The new releases from Château d’Esclans, star Provence winery
Tasted through the new releases from Sacha Lichine’s Château d’Esclans in Provence. This winery has been a remarkable success story because of its very smart strategy. High quality wines, with impeccable packaging and good marketing, starting with the multi-million bottle Whispering Angel and then leading up to the super-expensive Garrus. Rosé is the main story here, but there’s also a very good white (from Rolle) and red.
Whispering Angel Rosé 2016 Côtes de Provence, France 13% alcohol.
Very fresh and pretty with lovely tangerine and passionfruit, as well as some lemony brightness. There are hints of watermelon and cranberry adding a bit of red fruit character. This is a lovely fruity style of rosé with freshness, in a dry style. This is so pretty and delicious, and the packaging is fantastic. 89/100
Château d’Esclans Rock Angel Rosé 2016 Côtes de Provence, France 13.5% alcohol.
Very pale in colour. Tight and a bit reductive with some bright grapefruit and lemon notes. There’s freshness and precision here with some savoury notes alongside the fruit. Nice stoniness here, and a hint of red cherry in the background. I like this quite a bit. 90/100
Château d’Esclans Les Clans Rosé 2015 Côtes de Provence, France 14% alcohol.
Complex and intriguing with lovely fennel, hazelnut and spice notes. There’s some pear and apple character, as well as subtle strawberry and cherry notes. The texture is really appealing, and it has warmth and a sake-like quality. A really good food wine, with the oak adding depth and integrating nicely. 92/100
Château d’Esclans Garrus Rosé 2015 Côtes de Provence, France 14% alcohol.
Powerful and intense with some spicy, cedary oak characters meshing well with citrus, yellow plum and pear fruit and hints of fennel and sandalwood. There’s complexity and texture, as well as fresh citrus notes that balance out the richer characters well. Such a distinctive wine, and from past vintages it seems to age really well, too. Grand Cru rosé. 93/100
Château d’Esclans Déese Diane Rouge 2013 Côtes de Provence, France
This is quite dense and rich with grippy, tarry blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, with some cedary undercurrents. Firm and focused with nice grip, and a bit of herb and spice complexity under the fresh, slightly angular fruit. Tightwound, with potential for development. 90/100
Château d’Esclans Déese Astrée Blanc 2015 Côtes de Provence, France 14% alcohol.
100% Rolle (Vermentino). This is really delicate and elegant, with nice precise lemony fruit and a bit of pear and fennel richness, together with a touch of spice on the finish. The beginning of this wine is light and delicate, while the finish is warmer, spicier and more substantial. Intriguing and really impressive. 91/100