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.

Premium Rosé: Now a Year-Round Favorite

Recommendations from Provence and the USA

By Tricia Conover

The Colors of Rosé

Dry rosé wines are produced all around the world in many wine regions using countless varieties of red grapes. Historically, a summer patio or outdoor café in Provence were the places to find rosé drinkers. Now, they are a year-round favorite.

Rosé wines have been the fastest growing category of wine consumption in the last few years with the number of rosé wine brands multiplying. What is not to like? Savoring the flavors and aromas of red grapes in a chilled glass at any time of the year is my idea of a great happy hour. Moreover, a rose’ wine is also a nice Thanksgiving choice when paired with the typical Thanksgiving meal dishes.

The Benchmark for Rosé: Provence, France

The most well-known rosé wine brands come from Provence in the South of France. Provence rosé history goes back to the Romans invading Gaul (France) in the first century BCE. Some of the early rosé wines were called “claret” for having such a clear red/pink color.

In the 19th century, tourists started to flock to the Cote d’Azur to go swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, relaxing on the beautiful beaches with a chilled glass of rosé.  These local wines became a symbol of glamour, leisure, and summer, now enjoyed around the year.

A wine like Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel is an example against which many people measure other rosé wine brands. Whispering Angel is the #1 selling imported wine from France with a production of 3.2M bottles. It is probably the greatest wine brand to come out of France in 20 years. The pale color comes from just a touch of red grape skin contact. Find this wine:

2021 Whispering Angel Rosé, $25.

Whispering Angel is made from the grapes of Rolle (Vermentino) along with Grenache and Cinsault, all well-known grapes in the South of France. Since Rolle or Vermentino are white grapes, this rosé can also be classified as being a blend of red and white grapes. The Rolle give Whispering Angel a nice touch of floral pizazz. Whispering Angel has an even more expensive, prestigious sister: Garrus. This wine is made of Grenache grapes that are aged 12 months in French oak barrels. It is an ultra-premium wine selling for $125 to $130 and may be one of the   most expensive non-sparkling dry rosé wines in the world. Find:   2019 Chateau d’Esclans Garrus Rose.

Château d’Esclans releases 2021 vintage of Rock Angel

By Anne Krebiehl MW

Bertrand Léon, winemaker and technical director at Château d’Esclans, introduces Rock Angel as “perfect for Whispering Angel fans that want to take their love of Provence rosé to the next level.”

Singular success

Château d’Esclans in Provence was founded in 2006 by Sacha Lichine with the sole aim of producing a premium brand that would elevate Provençal rosé across the globe. He made 130,000 bottles of Whispering Angel in 2006 – by now millions of bottles of Whispering Angel are made each year, across several wineries. Sacha Lichine thus proved his point – he created a premium brand of Côtes de Provence rosé that is a global success.

Points of difference

Rock Angel, is one step upfrom Whispering Angel: it is made from the fruit of older vines of an average age of about 20 years, all grown inLa Motte, the area immediately surrounding the picturesque château. It is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle. Roughly a third of Rock Angel is fermented and aged in large 600-litre oak barrels called demi-muid. The wine matures on the spent yeast from the fermentation and throughout its maturation, these yeasts are stirred which gives a creamier mouthfeel and supple texture to the wine. Léon says Rock Angel “offers a more complex and structured taste profile” and thus is ideal for the changing season. Chicken pie and vegetarian stew are named as ideal autumnal pairings for the wine.

There is an initial hint of hazelnut and creaminess on the nose that precedes both lemon and red berry tones. The palate picks up the creaminess that is suggested on the nose and fills the mouth with textured lemony freshness. This is concentrated and rich, yet with a lovely pink grapefruit pithiness and real verve to make the mouth water on the long finish. 92 Points

Le Jardinier Debuts Summer Garden with New Happy Hour and Sunday Brunch Offerings

Miami Design District’s hidden gem and Michelin-starred French American eatery, Le Jardinier of the Bastion Collection, offers a summer garden experience in collaboration with Whispering Angel and Château d’Esclans.

Le Jardinier’s summer happy hour, available Tuesday through Thursday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, transports guests to the French Riviera with themed cocktails, summer dishes, rosé pairings, and music inspired by the Côte d’Azur’s favorite summer beach clubs.

Le Jardinier’s refined yet approachable Sunday Brunch menu, available from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, offers seasonal dishes with local ingredients, curated by Executive Chef James Friedberg. Start with the popular Golden Beet Salad, choose from a variety of sustainable seafood entrees, and share a delicious dessert – with a range of plant-based, gluten-free and vegan options to satisfy any sweet tooth.

The limited-time Sunday Magnum bottles – Whispering Angel ($70), Rock Angel ($120), and Garrus ($250) – will whisk guests away to the south of France as they sip rosé in the Château d’Esclans garden of roses. Le Jardinier’s modern, light-filled space and lush outdoor dining in its summer garden invite celebrations of every kind. Follow @lejardiniermiami for more details.

Le Jardinier of The Bastion Collection

Pink power: the rise & rise of rosé wine

By Anne Krebiehl MW

The rise, swell and sweep of the pink wave is one of the most remarkable reversals of fortune the wine world has seen. Why? Because rosé wines struggled to be taken seriously for the longest time.

While rosés and light, translucent red wines have been around for centuries, in the late 18th and early 19th century they started to lose their lustre. The better red winemaking techniques became, the more paler red and pink wines suffered. Next to fuller-coloured reds, they were seen as weaker in every respect: colour, structure, appeal – and seriousness. The fact that some rosé wines were commercially successful, affordable and popular did nothing to improve that image. Just think of Mateus Rosé. While rosés brought joy to many, their popularity and pricing made them easy to dismiss despite historic styles like Tavel, Bandol and Provençal rosé – all from the south of France. Pink was considered frivolous: why would you age or elevate rosé wine? How could something so beautiful to look at be serious? But now its fortunes have changed. Something happened that shifted the way we think about pink wines. The Observatoire Mondial du Rosé’s report notes a “dramatic” rise of 20 percent since 2002. While France, Spain and Italy still dominate rosé production, South Africa has doubled and New Zealand quadrupled their rosé production. They also note that “the average price of rosé sold around the world continues to climb.” The figures for sparkling rosé are no less impressive, but more of that later.

The turning point

Things had changed by the turn of the millennium: viticulture and winemaking had made immense strides. But, as is often the case, it took outsiders to make a difference. In 2006 Franco-American Sacha Lichine bought Château d’Esclans in Provence. Lichine had deep knowledge of the international wine markets: his father, Alexis Lichine, an influential American wine merchant and author had owned Château Prieuré-Lichine in Margaux, Bordeaux. Lichine junior had an uncanny sense of timing and a singular aim: to make Provençal rosé a fine wine and to create a world-famous brand – Whispering Angel. He made 130,000 bottles of his inaugural 2006 vintage. A decade later in 2016 that had grown to three million bottles and output has grown steadily ever since. A sprinkling of Hollywood stardust also helped Provençal rosé. Celebrity couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt bought Château Miraval in Provence in 2008. In 2013 they debuted their 2012 vintage and it became a sell-out. Crucially, both Whispering Angel and Miraval were taken seriously by critics – because they were well made wines.

Provençal pioneers

The combined success of Château d’Esclans and Miraval also turned the spotlight on far more established rosé producers like Domaines Ott. The family had pioneered quality production and their iconic, amphora-shaped rosé bottle had reached cult status among the glitterati on their yachts along the Côte d’Azur – but only niche markets beyond. “My family has been making rosé for more than 120 years now,” says Jean-Francois Ott, general director at Domaines Ott. “The consumer attitude towards rosé has changed significantly. My family has been working tirelessly to raise awareness that rosés can be at the same level as the best white and red wines.” It was Domaines Ott who had perfected that bone-dry, pale elegance that is equated with Provençal rosé today.

“I think that until the 90s, the market for quality rosé was a niche. Today it has expanded significantly, and consumer awareness has increased massively. The real evolution of the category is linked to quality – and that means it is going to last.”

Rosé as a fine wine
Domaines Ott always made a point of expressing their different locations: Château de Selle on limestone, Clos Mireille on schist and Château Romassan on chalk, sandstone and marl. For them, rosé always was a wine that expressed site, like the best red and white wines. However, it was Lichine who took the idea much further by introducing the idea of an ultra-premium rosé. Garrus, the top wine at Esclans, is made mainly from a four-hectare high-altitude parcel of 100-year-old Grenache vines called La Garenne. Lichine also clearly segmented his offer: while Whispering Angel is vinified completely in stainless steel, the next wine up is Rock Angel. Thirty percent of it is fermented in individually temperature-controlled 600-litre oak barrels, the next step up, Château d’Esclans in 50 percent oak while both Les Clans and Garrus, the two top wines, are fully fermented in oak, with the proportion of new oak higher for Garrus. Everyone can taste the difference, the increasing concentration and textural complexity. Illustrating this so clearly enabled Lichine to price the wines accordingly – making Garrus the world’s first rosé wine retailing at over £100. This has since been eclipsed by Gérard Bertrand’s Clos du Temple rosé from Languedoc launched in 2018 but Garrus paved the way for rosé to enter the fine wine market and to be taken seriously as such. It created a whole new category of ultra-premium rosés, like Domaines Ott’s ceramic-aged Etoile, launched in 2020 and Miraval’s oak-aged Muse. Another sure sign of rosé’s elevation to fine wine status was evident in 2019 when global luxury powerhouse Moët-Hennessy acquired both a 55 percent stake in Château d’Esclans and bought another Provence property dedicated to rosé production, Château Galoupet.

Pale, paler, palest
This spectacular reversal of fortunes has not only meant investment in the region but a re-assessment of pink wines across the board. Supermarket shelves now brim in all shades of rosé – even though the vast majority of them aspire to be as pale as the Provençal market leader. Where once existed the misconception that rosé could not be a serious wine, now the idea prevails that a rosé has to be pale in order to be good quality. This could not be more wrong. Rosé wines in every shade of pink – from barely there to lusciously deep – are thus a playground for explorers. Exciting rosés are now made around the world – all we can tell you is to think and drink pink.

Europe’s classic rosés: France
Rosé wines can be made from any red grape. Since rosé wines are made across Europe, from numerous grape varieties, there is a wide spectrum of styles informed by various grape varieties and climates. With 27,219 hectares of vineyards, Provence makes 42 percent of France’s rosé – and 91 percent of Provence production is pink, amounting to more than 150 million bottles.

Provençal rosés are mainly made from Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Tibouren but Carignan, Counoise, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are also used, as are white grapes like Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Rolle. The wines are dry and usually pale, capitalising on vivid citrus flavours. Bandol, an appellation within Provence, allows the same grape varieties but is famous for Mourvèdre, a late-ripening, thick-skinned grape, lending structure, spice and ageing potential. Tavel in the southern Rhône is probably France’s most historic and distinct rosé, an appellation dedicated entirely to rosé. Although tiny at just 904 hectares, it was France’s first appellation for rosé wine, given AOC status in 1936. Ernest Hemingway, for instance, was a big fan. Nine grape varieties are permitted and the wines are full-flavoured and deep-coloured, ideal for the robust, southern French flavours of bouillabaisse or grand aioli. If you have only tried pale rosé, you simply must graduate to this gastronomic, complex style. Another Rhône appellation with significant rosé production is Luberon and over in Languedoc, almost a fifth of the wines made are pink – from numerous varieties and across numerous appellations. The Loire valley also has a rosé track record: Sancerre rosé is made from Pinot Noir and is usually delicate, light and bone-dry. Further downstream, other styles take over, at different sweetness levels: Rosé de Loire, Rosé d’Anjou and Cabernet d’Anjou, are variously made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grolleau, Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay and Pinot Noir.

The world’s love affair with rosé is set to continue. Two reasons are paramount: rosé is no longer seen as just a summer wine and has year-round appeal. It has also moved on from perceptions of frivolousness and is enjoyed across genders. You only need to look at supermarket shelves, wine bars or restaurant tables: they shimmer in all shades of pink.