Send in d'Esclans
(Sorry Judy Collins)
Do Château d'Esclans make a wine that I do not like? It's an interesting question and one that I constantly ponder every time I open a new vintage, and I've got to say that I think the answer, at the moment, is no!
They're no longer the new kid on the block, and the stampede of imitators is something I worry about (the Gin Craze is just that, a craze. We all know the future for a craze) and people flit from new Rosé to new Rosé searching out the bragging rights on something they've discovered before their friends, but Château d'Esclans, like great Bordeaux, tremendous Burgundy and finest Champagne has now moved to that arena where class that transcends the rest (taste their sublime Garrus and dare to argue).
The offerings I'm tasting are two of the enter level wines they produce. The world famous 'Whispering Angel'. Game changer of a wine that took Rosê, made it grow up and gave it wide respect. There's also the newer 'Pale' which I think of as more like an entry level wine for those who prefer their Rosê to contain a little bit more depth than a celebrity endorsement. Enough yakking, let's get tasting!
Whispering Angel Rosé 2021
The colour is that usual welcoming salmon and light rust colour.
Have a sniff and you're rewarded with red, green and tropical fruit. Strawberry/redcurrant/pineapple/green succulent apple and then back to raspberry and a touch of floral (cherry blossom).
The taste is now honeysuckle, strawberries and cream, mango and red plum.
Quite satisfying. Not as pronounced as other vintages, but a suitable addition to the fold.
4 out of 7
The Pale Rosé 2021
In the bottle the colour is a very pale pink. In the glass it's slightly darker, but not much.
The nose is strawberries, cream, mango, peach and summer straw.
The taste is a bit more viscous than I thought. Then there's green fruit, red currants, acacia, tropical, grass and bags of interest.
5 out of 7
Curse you Château d'Esclans because once again I'm loving your work! The mark that I've given to the 'Whispering Angel 'might seem a little low, but this is in relation to other vintages I'd tasted. It's still a mighty fine wine and one I wouldn't hesitate to serve up to my friends.
'The Pale' was the real point of interest for me and though I've tried it before I'm enjoying the way they are working with this wine to still maintain the high standards. Like the 'Whispering Angel', the mark I've given is based on previous experience, and previously I thought it lacked something. I'm now pleased to report that this seems to have been rectified and things are now starting to prove rather interesting.
I'm hoping to visit Château d'Esclans in early July, which is just in time to make the next edition of Winefullness Magazine. What a potentially interesting article that's going to make.