Fine rosé from the heart of Provence
Originally written and produced for The Vineyard Group in 2015.
Recently I was drinking Ch. D’Esclans from Provence, one of the ‘finest rosés on the planet’, according to Matthew Jukes, when I thought of how far rosé wine has come. It is high time to take rosé wine increasingly seriously.
Historically, rosés were seen as fun, unsophisticated and the great addition to a girls’ night out. Fast forward a few years and premium rosé is one of the fastest growing categories. This is thanks, in part, to a host of Old World stalwart producers crafting some serious bottles, helped by their notoriety to raise them on to the big stage.
Pink, blush or rosé wine – whatever your preferred name- is now seen as a serious industry, and as Jancis Robinson attests, this is thanks in part to the efforts of Sacha Lichine and his team at Château d’Esclans who have set the bar and raised ambition among producers.
In the heart of Provence, Lichine and his compatriot Patrick Leon (previously winemaker and managing director at Mouton Rothschild) purposely tried to craft a world class winery that made the world’s best rosé – and it is widely believed that they succeeded.
Indeed, according to Matthew Jukes, Ch. D’Esclans from Côtes de Provence produce among the finest rosés on the planet. Made using Old Vine Grenache, which this high-altitude site is known for, the vines are hand picked and blended with the vermentino grape. Top cuvées are aged in oak – and are capable of ageing. Generally, good rosé is not heavy or overtly sweet but fresh, dry and offers a complex aroma of herbs, fruits and a balanced acidity. These bottlings offer all this and more.
One thing has remained true throughout this changing fortune for the pink stuff – these well-made wines are ideal served chilled outside – with, or without, food – especially in the Summer sun. Roll on Summer.