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WHISPERING ANGEL ROSÉ:
PROVENCE’S ELEGANCE IN EVERY SIP

CRAFTSMANSHIP AND INNOVATION: THE ART OF WINEMAKING AT CHÂTEAU D’ESCLANS


At the heart of Whispering Angel’s allure lies the meticulous winemaking process, a symphony of craftsmanship and innovation orchestrated by the skilled hands at Château d’Esclans. From vine to bottle, every step is carefully choreographed to preserve the essence of Provence and capture the delicate flavors that define this iconic rosé.


HARVESTING: A LABOR OF LOVE
The journey of Whispering Angel begins with the annual grape harvest, a labor of love that unfolds amidst the sun-drenched vineyards of Provence. Each September, from sunrise to noon, skilled vineyard workers carefully select and pick the ripest grapes, ensuring that only the finest fruit makes its way into the cellar. The harvest is conducted with precision, with grapes hand-picked and placed in small crates to avoid damage during transport.


SORTING
Upon arrival at the cellars, the grapes undergo a rigorous sorting process to ensure only the highest quality fruit is used in the winemaking process. Manual sorting by experienced hands is followed by optical eye sorting, where grapes are meticulously inspected for health and quality. Only those grapes that meet the exacting standards of the winemaker are selected for vinification, a testament to Château d’Esclans’ commitment to excellence.


COOLING AND PRESSING
Once sorted, the grapes are gently crushed to release their precious juice, which is then cooled to lock in its freshness and vibrancy. Temperature reduction is key to preserving the grapes’ delicate flavors, with the juice reaching temperatures as low as 7-8 degrees Celsius. This process ensures that Whispering Angel maintains its signature crispness and vitality, even as it undergoes fermentation.


FERMENTATION
Fermentation is where the magic of winemaking truly begins. The juice, now transformed into wine, is placed in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to undergo fermentation. Here, yeast converts the grapes’ sugars into alcohol, while the wine develops its characteristic aromas and flavors. Throughout the fermentation process, careful monitoring and precise temperature control ensure that the wine retains its purity and elegance.

AGING AND BLENDING: THE ART OF ASSEMBLAGE
After fermentation, the wine is aged to further develop its complexity and depth of flavor. Some batches may undergo barrel fermentation, where they are aged in oak barrels to impart subtle nuances of spice and texture. This methods pertains to the production of a portion of Rock Angel and Château d’Esclans while the two top end wines, Les Clans and Garrus are completely fermented and aged in oak barrels.
Others may remain in stainless steel tanks to preserve their crispness and freshness. The final step is blending, where different batches of wine are carefully combined to achieve the desired flavor profile. The art of assemblage is a delicate balancing act, where each component plays a vital role in creating the harmonious whole that is Whispering Angel.

BOTTLING AND AGING
Once blended, the wine is bottled and allowed to age, a process that allows its flavors to marry and evolve over time. While Whispering Angel is renowned for its youthful vibrancy, a period of aging adds complexity and depth to the wine, ensuring that it reaches its full potential upon release.

QUALITY CONTROL
Throughout the winemaking process, rigorous quality control measures are in place to ensure that every bottle of Whispering Angel meets the highest standards of excellence. From vineyard to cellar, each step is carefully monitored and guided by the experienced hands of the winemaking team. This unwavering commitment to quality is what sets Whispering Angel apart, ensuring that every sip is a testament to the artistry and dedication of Château d’Esclans.
It is this dedication to quality that has made Whispering Angel a beloved favorite among wine enthusiasts worldwide, a wine that whispers of elegance and charm with every sip.

CULTURAL IMPACT: A GLOBAL PHENOMENON

Whispering Angel’s rise to prominence is a testament to its universal appeal. From chic rooftop bars in Makati and BGC to sun-drenched beaches in Palawan, Siargao, or Boracay, this iconic rosé has captivated wine lovers around the nation and around the globe. Its pale pink hue has become synonymous with sophistication, while its refreshing taste has made it the go-to choice for countless celebrations and gatherings.
But Whispering Angel is more than just a wine; it is a cultural phenomenon. It has inspired a lifestyle centered
around leisure, elegance, and conviviality, where every moment is an opportunity to savor life’s simple
pleasures. Whether enjoyed with a casual meal or as an aperitif among friends, Whispering Angel embodies the
spirit of enjoying life.

SAVORING THE TASTE OF WHISPERING ANGEL ROSÉ


Whispering Angel rosé tantalizes the palate with its exquisite flavor profile, offering a delightful balance of fruitiness, freshness, and elegance. Pouring a beautifully pale pink hue, it releases inviting aromas of fresh red berries, hints of peaches, and subtle floral notes. On the palate, Whispering Angel reveals ripe red berry fruitiness with a smooth and fleshy texture, culminating in a satisfying, smooth finish devoid of harsh astringency. Its versatility extends to pairing possibilities, making it an ideal match for light, summery dishes like seafood salads, grilled shrimp, or fresh sushi, as well as heartier Mediterranean fare such as herb-roasted chicken or grilled vegetables with olive oil. Whether enjoyed with friends at a casual gathering or as part of an intimate date night, Whispering Angel elevates every dining experience with its undeniable charm and elegance, offering a taste of Provence that beckons to be savored and celebrated.
In every bottle of Whispering Angel, one discovers not just a wine, but a story waiting to be told. It is a testament to the beauty of Provence’s terroir, the artistry of winemaking, and the enduring appeal of a timeless classic inviting us to savor the elegance and sophistication of a truly exceptional wine.

From Gstaad, to Courchevel, Aspen or Whistler, we’ll cast a warm pink glow on your après-ski this winter. What’s better than a day on the slopes followed by a glass of the world’s most glamorous rosé?

At Chateau d’Esclans, we believe in turning every moment into an extraordinary celebration. Elevate your après-ski tradition by enjoying the perfection of a magnum, or perhaps even two. For us, every season is rosé season, and we invite you to immerse yourself in the refined elegance that defines Chateau d’Esclans.

See you on the mountain.

INTERVIEW: ALEX DIARD, CHATEAU D’ESCLANS’ GLOBAL BRAND AMBASSADOR, TAKES US INSIDE SACHA LICHINE’S NEWEST TRIUMPH — THE PALE ROSÉ

By Merasturda

The extraordinary French winemaker Sacha Lichine has once again redefined the category with The Pale Rosé. Named after its transparent, pink color, The Pale by Sacha Lichine embodies all the characteristics of an authentic rosé from Provence. Lichine is the mastermind behind the most famous producer of all Provencal wines, Château d’Esclans.

Hamptons Social spoke with Alex Diard, Brand Ambassador at Château d’Esclans, about The Pale Rosé (Whispering Angel’s young, fresh sister rosé). He shared insight on the connection between rosé and the Hamptons, how he was influenced by growing up in Aix En Provence, the birthplace of rosé, and what he has learned from working closely with the iconic Lichine.

How has the release of The Pale Rosé redefined the category of rosé?

The Pale Rosé is the latest creation of Sacha Lichine, the man who brought us Whispering Angel. The Pale is contributing to the increased popularity, awareness, and interest in rosé wine that is accessible all year around and has a Provence-style influence. With an eclectic label and screw cap, this rosé is made for everyone to enjoy in any and all settings whether you are hosting a party or simply enjoying a glass with your dinner. 

What does someone have to look forward to when they open a bottle of The Pale Rosé?

Upon looking at the bottle, The Pale Rosé is unique, chic, and festive, leaving an amazing first impression before the liquid hits the lips. It immediately captures your attention and promises a fun time. The wine, itself, is a seriously made rosé but was created to be accessible to both avid wine enthusiasts and beginners alike. It’s bright, elegant, and refreshing. You have the satisfaction of the fruits without the sweetness that some other rosés have. 

What is one of the most important lessons you have learned from working closely with Sacha Lichine?

I’ve grown both personally and professionally through my work with Sacha Lichine and his team over the years. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from Sacha, is to be persistent and to not give up. Sacha Lichine had one vision – to make rosé a “real” wine when the category was nonexistent. By leading and inspiring professionals around him, he made that vision turned into a global success story.

How were you influenced by growing up in Aix En Provence, the birthplace of rosé?

Naturally, it means a lot to me since I was born and raised in Provence. I do have some sweet memories growing up when we had family gatherings on Sundays around a delicious lunch, there were always a few bottles of rosé on the table. The quality back then wasn’t as elevated or precise as it is today. It has been quite fantastic to witness the evolution over the years, in quality and popularity beyond the region. 

What do you think about the connection between rosé and the Hamptons?

For many, The Hamptons is an oasis from a busy city life and a place to escape for rest and relaxation with friends and family. I believe rosé became a go-to choice for many residents and well-traveled visitors mainly because of the similarity of lifestyle in the French Riviera. Throughout Antibes, Cannes, Monaco, and Saint Tropez, rosé is associated with the upscale and leisure lifestyle of the area. Life is enjoyed on the beach, by the pool, or on a boat with friends and family. It is simply a celebration of life. The same can be said for The Hamptons.

How has rose evolved over the last decade and what do you foresee for the future?

Over the last decade, the rosé category has experienced significant evolution in terms of production techniques and popularity. I believe the future will remain on this dynamic incline with premiumization as consumers are looking for a more refined wine experience without forgetting “la joie de vivre” – the enjoyment of life. 

Enchanting Selection: Top 10 Best Wines for Christmas 2023 – A Festive Journey 🎄

The top 10 best red wines, top 10 best wine wines, top 10 best rose wines and top 10 sparkling wines of 2023, listed only for you to celebrate Christmas 2023 properly as a wine lover.

By Merasturda

Whether you’re a seasoned maestro of the vine, a disciple of Dionysus, or a neophyte yearning for vinous wisdom, this exhaustive guide to the crème de la crème of Christmas 2023 wines shall be your trusty comrade. Let’s embark on this palate-pleasing odyssey together!

These extraordinary vintages have ensnared the affections and discerning tastes of enthusiasts, presenting a symphony of tradition and avant-garde innovation.

From the sun-drenched vineyards of Napa Valley to the time-honored châteaux of Bordeaux and the undulating hills of Tuscany, these wines personify the craftsmanship and fervor of their creators. Join us as we revel in the glory of the 10 finest wines of 2023, where each sip is an invitation to immerse oneself in a realm of refined taste.

In the grand tradition of Dionysian festivities and Apollonian judgments, let us commence a journey, a pilgrimage if you will, through the sacred vineyards and mystical cellars housing the world’s preeminent wines. The year 2023, destined to be etched in vinicultural history for begetting vintages that sing the terroir’s song, beckons us to explore its pinnacle: the top 10 wines. This isn’t a mere list; it’s a tapestry interwoven with the golden strands of tradition and the silver filaments of innovation.

Revealing the Eminent Wines of 2023

Unveiling the paramount wines of 2023 lays bare the unrivaled quality and diversity of this year’s selections. These vinous masterpieces have been meticulously curated for their extraordinary characteristics, earning them the coveted title of top wine picks. Bestowed with accolades from industry maestros (although we’re not overly concerned with accolades here; it doesn’t sway our scoring much), these award-winning wines solidify their standing as unparalleled choices.

Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a casual wine wanderer, these wine proclamations are poised to astonish. From robust Cabernet Sauvignons to intricate and graceful Pinot Noirs, there exists a libation for every discerning palate. Dive into the vinous cosmos with these top wines of 2023 and elevate your oenophilic journey with these exceptional selections.  #VinousVoyage #WineWonders

Unveiling the paramount wines of 2023 lays bare the unrivaled quality and diversity of this year’s selections. These vinous masterpieces have been meticulously curated for their extraordinary characteristics, earning them the coveted title of top wine picks. Bestowed with accolades from industry maestros (although we’re not overly concerned with accolades here; it doesn’t sway our scoring much), these award-winning wines solidify their standing as unparalleled choices.

Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a casual wine wanderer, these wine proclamations are poised to astonish. Dive into the vinous cosmos with these top wines of 2023 and elevate your oenophilic journey with these exceptional selections. 🌐✨ #VinousVoyage #WineWonders 🍇📚

Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2022 | Score: 90 | Price: 25 $ | Body: Light-bodied

Tasting Notes: This Provençal rosé is a crowd-pleaser with its charming bouquet of red berries and citrus fruits. The palate is light and refreshing, making it perfect for sipping poolside or enjoying at a picnic.

Indulge in the world of exceptional rose wines and discover the joy they bring to your wine collection and your palate.

The perfect complement to your Holiday SOIRÉE, Celebrate the Season with the the world’s most glamorous rosé

In essence, Whispering Angel Rosé is not just a wine; it’s a journey from the sun-soaked vineyards of Provence to the heartwarming moments of the holiday season. From the first harvest to the joyous act of gifting, each bottle carries the spirit of craftsmanship and glamour, turning ordinary moments into extraordinary memories.

Whether it’s shared around a festive table, gifted at a holiday gathering, or tasted during a cozy evening by the fireplace, Whispering Angel Rosé enhances the spirit of the season. Its versatile nature makes it a delightful companion to a variety of dishes, from Thanksgiving feasts to New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The saying “the best view comes after the hardest climb” was validated on Sunday as the Jamaica Food + Drink Festival Brunch In The Hills team reintroduced their sponsors, key clients, and festival devotees to yet another of the country’s hidden gems: White Mist at Peter’s Rock.

The winding trek from Norbrook to Peter’s Rock — a peak in Woodford, St Andrew — was, for want of a better word, rocky, but the breathtaking vistas on arrival were worth every bump in the road.

The magnificent array of culinary delights aptly labelled brunch bites courtesy of Trevanne Donegal for Visa and well-appointed Select Brands bars were welcome sights, as too, the misty cityscape in the background. Guests settled readily in the spectacular setting which was further enhanced by Shikima Hinds and team for Events Concierge.

Brunch wrapped with two patrons walking away with paintings by Jamaican artist Alphanso Blake courtesy of NCB Capital Markets.

Alex Diard (right), business development manager from the famed Chateau D’Esclans, introduced Carreras Limited Chairman Patrick Smith (left) and Seprod Group of Companies CEO Richard Pandohie to the three-litre bottle of Whispering Angel Rosé. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Select Brands Luxury Portfolio Manager Debra Taylor Smith sipped Whispering Angel Rosé while delighting in the stunning views from Peter’s Rock. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Slice of Life: Louis Poulsen launches the Pale Rose collection, the new Apple Watch Series 9 and more

By Jesslyn Lye, Janice Sim and Amelia Chia

As the end of the year approaches, a plethora of intriguing ventures and brand launches offers plenty to look forward to. On the culinary front, the new Whispering Angel Vintage 2022 rosé proves the perfect gastronomic companion for summertime culinary experiences.

There have been many estates in recent years that have tried to push rosé into the premium category, but few have been as successful as Château D’Esclans, Sacha Lichine’s Provence estate that is in the final throes of a takeover by LVMH. To try and unravel some of the secrets of its success, both with Whispering Angel and its super-premium wines including Rock Angel, Château D’Esclans, Les Clans and Garrus, The Buyer’s Victor Smart travelled to St Tropez to meet up with global marketing director Paul Chevalier and taste and rate the new wines.

By Victor Smart

“Les Clans reminds me of a Burgundy. Garrus reminds me of vintage Champagne without the bubbles – an old bottle of Champagne that has been sitting there for 30 years,” says Château d’Esclans’ Paul Chevalier.

Château d’Esclans was acquired in 2006 with the aim of making the greatest rosés in the world

Even those who have built a global rosé brand worth hundreds of millions may still hanker for the cachet accorded to traditional, stuffier French wine regions. Thus, as Château d’Esclans nudges buyers of Whispering Angel to trade up to pricier wines in its range, its comparators are not just the likes of Sancerre but august names like Meursault. If that seems heresy to purists, it may be time to recognise that the rosé category has moved from poolside onto serious wine and is now hellbent on moving up the ladder to full connoisseur status.

Château d’Esclans, founded by the legendary American-educated Sasha Lichine, is bracing itself for prestige goods firm LVMH to complete its extended takeover. Already, when we visit the Côte de Provence estate there is a young man from HQ with the demeanour of a management consultant discussing strategy. Who knows, but celebrity chefs may soon be onsite catering for guests helicoptered in from St Tropez.

Global marketing director Paul Chevalier took The Buyer through Château d’Esclans’ full range 

But, for the moment, it is still the existing team, such as global marketing director Paul Chevalier, which guides us through the tasting of the seven-wine range. On his CV, Chevalier – who splits much of his time between Florida and a farm in the Pyrenees – has lustrous names like Veuve Clicquot, Château Margaux and Cloudy Bay.

The name Whispering Angel was inspired by a relief of two winged figures high above the altar in the château’s chapel. Rivers of gold have been spun from the brand, originally tailored for the US market where it is the biggest-selling French wine.

The d’Esclans team shows a massive attention to detail underpinned by sophisticated technology. The winery pioneered barrel-fermented luxury rosé. Those wines aged in barrels are individually monitored and each kept at a precise temperature. Meanwhile, an optical sorter scrutinises each grape to eliminate any defects. There’s loads of dosh for investment, of course. But, in addition, another key to success is that a tried and tested approach is applied across a range of wines retailing at hugely different prices, riffing on a medley of Grenache, Rolle (aka Vermentino), Syrah and Cinsault.

One of the Château d’Esclans wines aimed at a younger demographic

At the bottom of the range are two cheapish wines designed to whet the appetites of younger, poorer drinkers. The Pale retails for around £15 a bottle and The Beach for a pound or two more. The first is more urban, and the second more relaxed and poolside.

In the middle of the range comes the phenomenon that is Whispering Angel (£22 retail). This is the staple, of course, made in steel tanks from Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle. The sheer scale of its success seems to have been a surprise even to the likes of Chevalier. He points to the fruit, its mouthfeel and viscosity as key attractions behind the “satisfaction” it delivers. This has validated the winery’s basic approach for the whole range.

“The idea is that Grenache is hypothetically our Pinot Noir and Rolle is our Chardonnay, and we blend the two. We tend to use as much as we can of the Rolle which adds to the viscosity and aromatics while Grenache gives us structure and fruit”. Cinsault doesn’t add or take away very much but is a good blender; that grape disappears as you go up the range.

This takes us on to our main business here – the four pricier wines: Rock Angel, Château d’Esclans, Les Clans and Garrus. All of these use estate grapes and are aged in oak for varying periods.

Rock Angel (we’re tasting the 2022 at £24 retail) is around 55% grapes from the estate with around a quarter aged in oak barrels – something that gives it more body than the unoaked Whispering. “Rock has more weight and more length with more rocky minerality. There’s more going on – we’re looking at the Sancerre consumer who wants to change it up.”

For the rest of the wines we move to the 2021 vintages as the better wines takes longer to open up. Château d’Esclans(retail £35) is principally Grenache with about 30% Rolle, but with about half aged in oak and with more time in the barrel. The aim here is more precision and elegance. “Why if you were a consumer, would you choose this?”, asks Chevalier rhetorically. “Because you are into St Aubin or Pouilly Fuissé and hence into specific styles. So you want something more, and there are few other options.”

Moving on to the prestige cuvée level there are two styles. Les Clans (retail £50) is a Grenache/Rolle blend from old vines on the estate and is 100% barrel fermented. On the palate there are pineapple and ginger notes with hints of black liquorice.

Each barrel has its temperature continuously monitored and kept constant

Putting rosé juice into an oak barrel for a year and leaving it there was frankly experimental. Chevalier says: “We didn’t even know how to sell it because it was so expensive. So we said, why don’t we talk to people who understand white Burgundies like Mersault, vintage champagne, or expensive Californian Chardonnays. So it became a small batch rosé for a consumer that didn’t exist in a category that was totally misunderstood.”

Finally, we come to Garrus which has the same basic recipe but which is made from the oldest, choicest vines including a single parcel of nearly 100 year old Grenache vines. With rich, spicy notes and a creamy finish, the emphasis here is concentration.

“Garrus has more power, structure and body. Les Clans reminds me of a Burgundy. Garrus reminds me of vintage champagne without the bubbles – an old bottle of champagne that has been sitting there for thirty years.”

The top wine has variously scored from 93 to 96 points. It has a bold price of £140 which was the world’s most expensive pink ‘un until Gerard Bertrand launched Clos du Temple. How much further can once-derided rosé go in competing with the stars in the old firmament of French wines? We shall see.

Two peas in a pod: Paul Chevalier and The Buyer’s Victor Smart (r-l) with the Whispering Angel cherubs above the chapel

Why pink wine is coming up rosé

Pamper yourself with one of the new generation of super luxurious pink wines

By David Williams

Château d’Esclans Garrus, Côtes de Provence 2021 (£120.50, clos19.com)
The irresistible rise of cult rosé estate Château d’Eslcans is one of the more remarkable stories in wine in recent years. When the man behind it, Sacha Lichine, the French-American son of the Russian émigré wine writer and Bordeaux estate proprietor Alexis Lichine, set up shop in Provence in 2006, his plan to make “fine” rosé looked to many like an act of folie de grandeur. Pink wine, after all, was seen as something pleasantly refreshing but essentially simple for sipping on hot summer days, a style that no serious oenophile could possibly compare to the best examples of red or white. Lichine’s top wine Garrus was the startling challenge to this conventional wisdom. Made from a mix of old-vine red grenache and the white vermentino using techniques more akin to the top white wines of Burgundy (it’s fermented and aged in oak rather than the stainless steel of most pink wine), its resistible price tag makes you want to hate it. But the latest, luxuriously silky, spicy-toasty vintage has a kind of graceful power that is intensely alluring.

The Beach by Whispering Angel, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, France 2022 (from £16.50, Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose, Majestic)

The audacious Garrus was the canny Lichine’s way of persuading wine critics to ditch their preconceptions about rosé and get them to talk about his nascent project. But the name which catapulted the estate to a level of fame that is exceptionally unusual for a wine brand was Whispering Angel. When I visited d’Esclans in September, its glitzy boutique was busy with impeccably dressed wealthy young things taking a break from their holidays on the nearby Côte d’Azur to make a pilgrimage to the home of Adele, Victoria Beckham and Malia Obama’s favourite wine. What is it about Whispering Angel that has made it such a rapid success, growing from about 130,000 bottles in its first vintage in 2006 to more than 1m 12-bottle cases today? A mix of astute marketing and good luck is part of the story; but tasting the latest 2022 vintage of both the main Whispering Angel (£20, widely available) and the, in my opinion, much better-value spin-off The Beach, I was struck by how effectively they deliver the soft-focus strawberry-and-cream, melon and gentle citrus freshness that is the hallmark of good Provence rosé.