Whispering Angel’s Founder Shares Why This Popular Rosé Deserves the Spotlight in Singapore

By Nimmi Malhotra

Sacha Lichine, the winemaker and founder of Whispering Angel, says it’s about time rosé took off in Singapore


Sacha Lichine will tell you it takes a lot of ‘shoe leather’ to build a brand. Gauging by the meteoric success of Whispering Angel by Chateau d’Esclans, the brand he created, Lichine must have worn out his fair share of shoes.
Sixteen years ago, Lichine introduced 130,000 bottles of the first vintage of Chateau d’Esclans, including Whispering Angel, the entry-level superstar, Rock Angel, Les Clans and Garrus, the most expensive rosé to hit the market at €100 (S$140). The four rosés were of similar hues of pink and, yet, of different tastes, textures and flavours.
Unlike most Provencal rosés made in stainless steel, his wines are barrel fermented—except Whispering Angel—and lees-stirred to give them body and a creamy texture, all while preserving the alluring colour.

Recently part-acquired by the Moet Hennessy group, Lichine won’t share the sales numbers anymore, but we estimate sales to be well above and beyond the 6 million mark recorded in 2007. More so, Whispering Angel is well established as the market leader for the Provence rosés and has contributed, in a large way, to the rosé revolution sweeping the world.

Having washed the world in hues of peach and pink, Lichine’s eyes are now set on Singapore. “I think it’s about to take off here,” he says in a quietly confident tone.

Not that he hasn’t tried to charm the red dot before. Back in 2011, he introduced the wines to Singapore when the market was seduced by powerful Robert Parker-approved reds. Rosé, as he recalls, was “a bit ahead of the game.”

As we take our seats, Lichine, in his signature open-collar blush pink shirt and dark suit with his glasses resting on his head, shares the details of the Chateau d’Esclans sales blitz taking place in real-time. How does it work? The seasoned entrepreneur obliges: “You go out, you shake hands, you make friends, and you sell wine.”

Read more: Colin Seah and Sonia Chew Celebrate Creativity With The Dom Pérignon and Lady Gaga Champagnes

“Born in Bordeaux, baptised in a barrel.”

No stranger to the vinous world, Lichine absorbed the craft from his illustrious father, Alexis Lichine—the Bordeaux producer and wine writer.

His fondness for rosé developed during family holidays. “My father used to go to Cote d’Azur, and we used to bring our wines.” At the time, he says, “We were making some rosé in Bordeaux, just for ourselves, not to sell.”

Yet another style of rosé formed the inspiration for Chateau d’Esclans. “I think rosé champagne helped me a lot. Twenty-five years ago, you couldn’t sell rosé champagne because it just was unknown.” The category has since blown up with Billecart-Salmon, Ruinart and Bollinger leading the way, and it’s even more expensive than blanc de blanc. “So, I said to myself, if rosé sparkling can sell for a premium … why couldn’t still rosé.”

The lifestyle brand with terroir-driven wine

After selling his father’s property in Bordeaux, he moved to Provence and found a beautiful estate in La Motte. “I’d visited 32 properties for eight years, and I just kept returning to this place because it was magical. It was beautiful,” he says. Chateau d’Esclans is a 267-hectare property in La Motte-en-Provence, which has now expanded to 400 hectares.

By his side was Patrick Léon, the former winemaker of Mouton Rothschild. Together, they brought Bordeaux first growth wine-making standards of hand-picking grapes, optimal sorting, and rigorous quality control. Notably, they developed a state-of-the-art temperature-controlled barrel for vinification.

Each wine has its distinctions. For instance, the light and fruity Whispering Angel picked its name from two angel heads at the property chapel, who appear to be whispering to each other and at the highest echelon, Garrus, is made exclusively from 80-year-old Grenache and Rolle vines found on the estate.

In addition to Grenache and Rolle or Vermentino, which adds texture and richness, there’s a smidgen of Cinsault and Tibouren for floral notes. The range has since expanded to new labels like Pale and The Beach, which appeal to the younger market.

But no one was drinking rosé then. The category at the time was represented by “either Zinfandel or Rosé d’Anjou with 17 grams of sugar that your grandmother drank,” Lichine says.

Through sheer tenacity and a little inspiration from Estée Lauder, Lichine found worldwide success. “We did things the old-fashioned way. I remember reading stories of Estée Lauder who went around America and shook retailers’ hands, and they never forgot it.”

Chateau d’Esclans wines are sold in 106 countries and the brand is registering a 25 to 30 per cent yearly growth.

Is rosé a serious wine?

The indefatigable 62-year-old is far from resting his feet. He is intent on having rosé accepted in the wine world as a serious wine, not just an aperitif.

The ‘lifestyle’ image of the wine, which helped make it popular with the largest consumer group, the millennials, is the same that prevents some from taking rosé seriously. And he has yet to win over his sternest critics, the sommelier community. “The sommeliers have never taken rosé seriously. They don’t like them. They don’t want them. They don’t think it’s real wine,” he says. 

Irrespective, Lichine is not one to throw in the towel. “I think the market is still very small, but the time is right,” he declares when talking of Singapore. “When we started in the US, the market was nonexistent as well. And now we’re the largest selling French wine in the US.”

Class in a glass: what’s this obsession with wine all about?

By Morwenna Ferrier

Wine might be widely drunk, but there is still an idea, however old-fashioned, that it’s bourgeois to drink it

Mixed news last week for wine drinkers. Research by scientists at Rush Medical Center in Chicago claims that a glass of red with dinner could slash your risk of developing dementia. Just don’t start too young, say rival researchers at the Uniformed Services University in Maryland, who claim that children who are given even a sip of l’eau rouge – water reddened by wine – are more likely to end up with addiction problems.

Perhaps the answer, then, is for the children to drink natural wine, which might be at least good for their digestive system, according to another study. Or barolo, the preferred grape of “emotionally stable” drinkers, according to an investigation into links between wine preference and personality by researchers at Italian universities. Either way, if you are among the 60% who are now “sober curious” – intention, rather than action, being the operative here – the chances are you’ll be decanting your cellars into your moisturiser, as Brad Pitt does with his new wine-inspired skincare line, Le Domaine. So long as everyone avoids Buckfast wine. Sales are up in Scotland, leading some to (incorrectly) fear an increase in crime. Happy fortified wine season, one and all.

These are all reports from the news last week. Reports that might lead you to need a glass of chablis if only to offset the last item. Because there are few things that capture the British imagination like the pros and perils of drinking wine. There may well be something in the often contradictory science, but the fact it’s investigated in the first place suggests there’s a market for the results. Gin might be mother’s ruin, but it’s wine that will finish off the rest of us.

“Wine pushes people’s buttons,” agrees Aaron Ayscough, a well-regarded American wine writer living in Paris. “Readers tend to have an emotional response to it. Probably because [it is] laden with two, often contradictory associations: that of luxury, and that of a rural, pastoral milieu. When we examine wine as a dietary component, we are making an implicit appeal to the wisdom of a [lost] rural past.”

“Everyone is chasing a notion of pastoral lifestyle purity that has become immensely valued today precisely because it has mostly vanished in contemporary society,” says Ayscough. Wine’s centrality to that vision of a lost idyll is part of its symbolic potency. And if you like drinking wine and see the drinking of wine as being part of your character, you’re not going to like being told you shouldn’t be doing it.

My generation grew up with Lambrini girls, while Gen Z apparently prefer Whispering Angel

Last year, the UK produced 67,097 hectolitres (one hectolitre equals about 133 bottles). Italy, however, produced more than 50 million. Climate change might alter this. But wine, on these northern isles, is still a symbol of the other, the exotic.

It’s the stuff of rural holidays and European dining, but there’s also an idea that it’ll get you drunk in an acceptable, but cleansing way. For some middle- and upper-middle-class baby boomers, this is pretty much a philosophy to live by. “Wine, and particularly natural wine, has become a potent symbol within this cultural phenomenon,” Ayscough says.

It’s also, increasingly, pan-generational, recently acquiring a sort of millennial/hipster following. Annabel’s, which calls itself “one of the most elegant clubs in the world”, has just launched wine nights for younger clients. @dalstonwineclub, a fun women-led initiative, run Beaujolais nights and feature shots of wine bottles on its Instagram, run through a soft filter. There’s a wine shop down the road from me whose name is written in bubble writing but which I’m too intimidated to enter, despite being its target audience.

Class-association is the thing that no one wants to talk about. My generation grew up with Lambrini girls, while Gen Z apparently prefer Whispering Angel, a sparky rosé Adele raves about. My friends and I dabbled in both. But Whispering Angel is not cheap. It just positions itself as fun rather than earnest.

For an award-winning and superlative Italian degustation dinner, make a reservation at Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin

Arguably the finest dining experience in Bali, this Michelin-worthy restaurant at Bulgari Resort Bali comes with sunset aperitivos, endless ocean views and a world-class repertoire…

For gourmands around the globe, Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin needs no introduction. The original Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin restaurant opened in Tokyo in 2009, helmed by the world-famous Michelin-starred executive chef, Luca Fantin. Well, this opulent dining destination has a second home right here in Bali, within one of the finest clifftop establishments on the island: the breathtaking Bulgari Resort Bali.

Sitting on the gravity-defying Uluwatu clifftops, Bulgari Resort Bali is renowned for unparalleled levels of service and immeasurable luxury, so it’s fitting that such a spectacular name in hospitality would host such refined gastronomy as Luca Fantin’s. And with just 36 seats in the house, Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin is just as intimate and exclusive.

This dinner-only venue specialises in contemporary and creative interpretations of classic Italian cuisine. You can choose from five- or seven-courses of impeccably plated creations, served up in the semi-open-air venue surrounded by soft lighting, lush foliage and a captivating reflection pool. Optional wine pairing is also available (and highly recommended), where fine vintages from around the world are seamlessly matched with each delicate course. You’ll want to dress to impress here, and be sure to arrive early for the pre-dinner Aperitivo Hour, where complimentary Italian canapés are served alongside an award-winning cocktail list and a fiery Bali sunset.

Aperitivo Hour at The Bulgari Bar

While the multi-course degustation dinner at Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin is certainly the main event, we say, arrive early and settle in for sunset at The Bulgari Bar for the nightly Aperitivo Hour. Inviting both in-house and outside guests with reservations to the cliff’s edge, The Bulgari Bar hosts this true Italian aperitivo tradition each evening from 6pm to 7pm. Beautifully perched on the Uluwatu cliff, the bar soaks in an uninterrupted and elevated view of the Indian Ocean below, serving complimentary Italian bites alongside signature cocktails and fine wines.

And in true Bulgari fashion, the bar is unequivocally classy, with the focal point being the sleek, curved black resin bar counter (inspired by the design of the Bulgari Hotel bar in Milan) which is centred by an impressive naturally-sculpted stone as the centrepiece. As the sun begins to dip beneath the ocean horizon, this magical Aperitivo Hour draws to a close, signalling the start of the sensational Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin experience that follows…

The elevated Luca Fantin experience

Being the Michelin-starred chef that he is, Luca Fantin’s sophisticated cuisine is world-renowned. His flagship masterpiece in Tokyo earned its esteem thanks to its unwavering attention to detail, the delicate use of the freshest and finest ingredients from around the world, and the precise presentation for which it’s served. And you’ll be pleased to know that none of the Luca Fantin finesse has been lost at this Bali venture.

The Menù Degustazione (AKA the degustation menu) is a five- or seven-course masterpiece with optional wine pairing, showcasing a regularly changing lineup of stellar dishes according to the seasons. You can, however, always expect to see some of Luca Fantin’s mainstay signatures on the menu, like the iconic squid-ink cold spaghetti crowned by a slick of caviar, or the charcoal-grilled beef, seared table-side with eggplant, olives and capers.

Whatever the season, and whichever set menu you choose, the magic of Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin is in its delicate simplicity, where the refined techniques of European gastronomy coalesce in perfect harmony with the freshness and pure excellence of each ingredient, letting the exemplary quality shine through. For Luca Fantin, it is the knowledge and respect of each ingredient that truly sparks his creativity, using Bali’s seasonal bounty as the muse for his modern Italian cuisine.

The Menù Degustazione

We were lucky enough to secure a hot-seat at this sought-after dining destination, so we of course pushed the boat out with the seven-course degustation menu with fine wine pairing. The dinner began with a spectacular lineup of amuse bouche, each one looking almost too spectacular to eat. This swiftly followed by an exquisite scallop carpaccio, with a subtle zest from the citrus marinade and a soft sweetness from corn jus.

Unsurprisingly so, the signature cold spaghetti with caviar was a standout, as were the distinguished bites of miniature ravioli with red paprika consommé – a classic Italian favourite elevated to an entirely new level. The seafood continued to impress, with the fine lobster risotto that’s vibrant, citrusy and stunningly presented.

The wine pairing was equally spectacular, poured into fine flutes of imported Italian glassware. Fine Italian wines, like the 2019 Tormaresca Chardonnay from Apulia, dominate the menu, with other European favourites like the 2020 Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé from Cotes de Provence, France.

Last but certainly not least, the parade of desserts were nothing short of an art form. We tried the decadent chocolate tortino, with the Bulgari’s logo gold-branded on the shell, crowned by gold flakes and topped with coffee ice cream and a vanilla sauce. It was dishes like these, and the impeccable evening as a whole, that makes it strikingly obvious why Bulgari Resort Bali and Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin have earned such an impeccable repertoire. Compliments to the chef indeed…

Il Ristorante – Luca Fantin at Bulgari Resort Bali, Jl Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu.

Your Guide to the Best Events at Miami Art Week and Art Basel 2022

By Kyle Munzenrieder

… some highlights of the week to not miss:


18th Street, Miami Beach
Miami Beach Cleanup | Château d’Esclans

The Beach Cleanup x The Surfrider Foundation:


On Monday, November 28th at 10AM, Château d’Esclans will host a Beach Cleanup with our Ocean Friendly Rosé “The Beach by Whispering Angel” in partnership with The Surfrider Foundation.

How to Party With VICE at Art Basel Miami Beach

Not A Test is our three-day tour of what’s next in hip-hop. Come dream all day and dance all night.

By Katie Way

November 23, 2022, 7:00pm

It’s that time of the year again: Art Basel Miami Beach. Sultry and sun-kissed Miami Beach is a handy cure for the pre-winter blues, and Art Basel is home to the most exciting modern and contemporary works visiting galleries from five continents have to offer. It’s the perfect place for some stimulating conversation about the state of the art world.

Fit check with Styling Hip-Hop

When: December 2, 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Art Basel’s street style is notorious—and hip-hop’s influence on the incredible looks people pull every year is undeniable. That’s why we’re hosting a panel on the future of hip-hop styling, a conversation that’s more urgent than ever now that the high fashion world finally acknowledged the command hip-hop has over the concept of cool. For the final Not a Test Panel, sponsored by Chateau d’Esclans, Kimberly Drew will moderate a conversation between creative director Jerome LaMaar, the mind behind the 2020 launch of Ivy Park x Adidas; stylist and visual consultant Talia Bella, who also modeled in Yeezy Season 3 and 4; and Shannon Stokes, the illustrator, designer, creative director, and stylist who styled Rihanna’s iconic, spike-haired Paper Magazine shoot in 2017.

Pair Your Turkey With Rosé Wine This Thanksgiving

By Jeanette Hurt

I cover the indulgence of all things distilled, fermented and brewed.


Rosé is often thought of as a summer or spring wine, but it’s actually a great transitional wine from summer to winter, aka, fall. It’s also a versatile wine in terms of food pairings, which makes it perfect for Thanksgiving. Here’s a roundup of some delicious wines to pair with your turkey and sides.

If you like Whispering Angel, then you’ll LOVE Rock Angel Rosé. ROCK ANGEL


Château D’Esclans Rock Angel, $42.99

With a greater intensity and more richness than Whispering Angel, Rock Angel pairs well with so many dishes. Try pairing it this Thanksgiving with turkey and all its fixings.

Los vinos rosados, también conocidos como Rosé, se caracterizan por ser ligeros, frescos y versátiles para maridar con una gran cantidad de platillos, lo cual los convierte en nuestros nuestros nuevos mejores amigos cuando queremos reunirnos con amigas o simplemente tomar una copa después de un largo día.


A continuación te presentamos nuestros vinos rosados favoritos para todos los gustos, pero eso sí, todos son deliciosos.

THE WHISPERING ANGEL

El mejor acompañante para un momento especial, además este vino rosado no contiene azúcar, lo que se traduce en menos calorías y resaca.

The Retreat Elcot Park in Berkshire is the perfect country hotel weekend getaway, says Lucy Cleland

Relaxed British Charm And Cheer: The Retreat Elcot Park

Greenlys

Sometimes you just want a quick, breezy, relaxing, yet spoiling, break from London – you don’t want to drive too far; you don’t want to have to pack your finest threads; you just want to chuck the kids in the back of the car with the dog and some wellies and off you go for a change of scene. It’s sort of like going to a posh friend’s country pad, in fact. If that sounds appealing, Elcot could be the perfect place for you. 

STAY

Hector Ross and his partner Ronnie Kimbugwe made waves on the British hotel scene with the opening of The Mitre, a cat’s whisker from Hampton Court right by the Thames, back in 2020. Their vision for The Signet Collection (more hotels are in the pipeline, including Barnsdale Lodge in Rutland) is to find neglected, downtrodden gems in quirky locations and breathe new life into them with a blend of great design, top-notch food and a large dose relaxation – stuffiness is definitely off the menu. Their second hotel, The Retreat Elcot Park in Berkshire, fits this brief superbly. A handsome 18th-century home, with links to Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (you can spot his portrait hanging over the fireplace in the entrance hall), its most recent incarnation was as, I’m guessing here, a less well-designed and foodie-centric hotel, belonging to the Mercure group, catering for a more corporate audience. Hector understood its more boutique potential after taking his son swimming there. It took him six years to persuade them to sell up.

But succeed he did. Architects and designers in, and millions of pounds later, the result is, among the other communal spaces, two restaurants, a spa and 55 individually designed bedrooms by duo of Taylor and Turner (ex de Gournay and Alidad), who have brought it bang up to date with a strong colour palette and bold wallpapers – the Pierre Frey in the Bushby Bacon suite is particularly striking. Between them all, they have managed to make it feel both super-smart and relaxed at the same time – children and dogs are most definitely welcome and encouraged. A glass of wine is proffered as soon as you arrive; there are snacking pantries for hungry children to raid; there’s a recreation field with football goals; a tennis court; and a croquet lawn to lose your temper on (no one can fail not to lose their temper playing croquet). 

Then there’s the outdoor swimming pool – not always a given at country house hotels. With loungers, hot weather (well, isn’t that pretty much always the status now?) and a large glass of Whispering Angel (the cult rosé has its own branded pool bar), if you’re thinking of ditching your carbon-intensive weekend to the South of France, come here instead. 

The 2022 Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide To Celebrate With The People You Love

It’s almost time to carve up that turkey and set the table for a gathering with your loved ones — make it a memorable Thanksgiving!

By Tony Bowles

Credit: Disney/ABC

Thanksgiving will be one of the big family gatherings that will bring us together around the table to give thanks, argue about who made the best side, and watch some good ol’ football!
Whether you’re making an intimate dinner for your family or dining out, we’ve compiled a robust guide for those dining out. If you’re wondering what to sip throughout the day, we’ve got some top-notch Thanksgiving cocktails, wine, and spirits you and your guests will be sure to enjoy.
However you celebrate this holiday, we hope that you have a festive, but safe time with those you love and cherish.

Whispering Angel 2021 Rosé

The benchmark for all Côtes de Provence rosé. Adored by wine enthusiasts and Hamptons-goers alike, the wine has evocative flavors of grapefruit and citrus and pairs beautifully with crudités and fresh seafood.

Rosé Wine Pairing: Pear and Camembert Crostini

By Helga & Kitty

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes gatherings with family and friends!

One of the most versatile wines to combine with food is rosé wine, and we have found an excellent option that we want to share with you: Whispering Angel. It has a balanced body; it is dry and with very pleasant acidity. On the palate, it has notes of strawberry, peach, and citrus.

This wine pairs very well with pork, seafood, or chicken recipes, as well as vegetarian dishes, and with cheese. With this in mind, we have a very simple yet elegant recipe that goes perfectly with this rosé wine.

You will need a baguette bread, a wheel of Camembert cheese, a couple of pears, honey, and fresh rosemary. In our reel, you can see the step-by-step so that you can prepare this delightful appetizer for your next get-together. Don’t forget to use fresh rosemary, the aroma is so delicious!

You can find Whispering Angel in Vinoteca stores and you can also order it through their online store.