Decanter 91 points - From the very beginning (ex Mouton Rothschild) winemaker Patrick Leon crafted a lighter style of rose, and this very much errs on the side of being fresh, clean, mineral with a white peach expression. The style has been very closely maintained over the past 10 years, even as the grape sourcing has grown exponentially. This is unoaked, vinified in stainless steel tanks, kept chilled at every stage of the process. From a blend of Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault and Syrah, all hand-harvested. Easy to see why this works so well. (May 2016)
In the glass, the Whispering Angel has a beautiful light colored pale pink rose and salmon hue to it. It packs beautiful perfume-esque fragrances of tropical summer fruit and strawberry.
The opening palate is bright, young, crisp and refreshing. There are big hints of ripe red raspberry, strawberry and apricot. Bits of mild citrus become more evident on the mid-palate, backed by additional red berry notes. The subtle citrus tart really adds some dimensionality to the wine, increasing complexity and also bringing out some clean mineral notes.
Approaching the close, the wine stays refreshing with a perfect balance of light strawberry and citrus fruit over a long finish.
|Chateau d’Esclans is located on an exceptional site, on elevated land near the Gorges de Pennafort, twenty five kilometers northwest of the ancient Roman city of Frejus on the Mediterranean coast. The first traces of the chateau’s site date back to Gaullist times during which its location served as a lookout point to spot intruders coming by boat into the Gulf of Frejus. The chateau’s cellar structure or foundation (known today as the oldest in the region) housed an original Chateau that was given by the Comte de Provence to Gerard De Villeneuve, in 1201. The current chateau, inspired by Tuscan Villa design, was built during the mid 19th century.
Chateau d’Esclans lies in the center of the Department of the Var, where the majority of Provence AOC rose is produced. The land was occupied as long as 2500 years ago when it was probably used as a lookout point for intruders sailing into the Gulf of Frejus. The original chateau-of which now only the cellar remains-dates back to before the 12th century.
In 1201, Gerard De Villeneuve, part of a wealthy family from Marseille, took ownership of the chateau and the majority of the surface area of the Vallee d’Esclans that would eventually be sold off in lots. Two brothers, Sauver Louis Ranque and Francois Alexandre Ranque, were the next to own the chateau, known then as Terre d’Esclans.
In 1875, they sold the property to Joseph Toussaint Caussemille, who manufactured wooden matches near Marseilles. In 1955, the Perraud family owned the property until 1994.
At that time, it was purchased by a Swedish pension fund that produced a small amount of wine and the remaining grapes were sold to neighboring winemakers.
Sacha Lichine aquired Chateau d’Esclans in 2006.
Today there are 108 acres (44 ha) of vineyards. The total proprety has 659 acres (267 ha).
The primary grape grown on the property is Grenache followed by Vermentino. Other grapes include Cinsault, Merlot, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Tibouren.
The chateau is known for its old Grenache vines which produce grapes that offer greater concentration of flavor than do the younger vines. As the elevation to where the lots are situated increases, so do the age of the vines. At the highest elevated lot vines are as old as 90 years.