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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.

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

WINE OF THE WEEK

Richly Flavored Rosé

By Corey Warren

Château d’Esclans in southern France’s Côtes de Provence. (Photo courtesy of the winery)

Bertrand Léon sends free-run juice into 600-liter demi-muids for 11 months, stirring the lees twice a week. That translates into an undercurrent of richness to the already-rich piecrust and grapefruit-pith flavors. The intensity of its flavors should gain more clarity with time, and the wine has the structure to age.

91

Château d’Esclans 2021 Côtes de Provence Les Clans

$85

Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.

Provence Should Be At The Top Of Your Summer Bucket List

IT DOESN’T GET MORE IDYLLIC THAN THIS.

By Lindsay Cohn

For many travelers, Provence — the enchanting region that’s bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains — conjures images of sipping chilled rosé in a chic beach town along the French Riveria. But that’s just one side of this sun-drenched destination. The Luberon shows off a more pastoral picture of the South of France with lavender fields and historic hilltop villages. Provençal markets, vineyards, olive groves, and pine forests are abundant throughout. Besides small towns, visitors have the chance to visit lively cities like Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence. With so much to see and do, it can seem overwhelming to plan the *perfect* holiday — which is sort of antithetical since Provence itself has such a relaxed quality. In an attempt to make the lead-up to your trip almost as lovely as the vacation itself, we’ve put together an insider’s guide with standout spots to hit this summer (or in the future).

Wineries & Vineyards

Nothing says summer in Provence like rosé. Luckily, there are plenty of places to sip everyone’s favorite warm-weather vin. Starting with Chateau d’Esclans, the world-famous purveyor of Whispering Angel, and an all-around dream of a property that’s located to the northeast of Saint-Tropez. 

WINE PRAGUE 2023, THE LARGEST PROFESSIONAL WINE EVENT IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

April 18, 2023 – PRAGUE – The Wine Prague 2023 trade fair, the largest professional wine event in the Czech Republic, will take place at the PVA EXPO PRAGUE exhibition center in Letňany from May 16 to 17. Traditionally, many exhibitors from the Czech Republic and abroad will be waiting for the visitors.


This year, the fair is awaiting interesting news that will be an attractive diversion for visitors, but at the same time it also builds on cooperation with traditional partners. “Of course, we cooperate with a very important professional professional organization in our country, i.e. the Association of Sommeliers of the Czech Republic, which will have its own program at the fair. This year too, visitors will have access to Czech glass of the highest world quality for wine tasting. The partner of the fair is the Květná 1794 glassworks for the second time, thanks to which the participants will be able to taste several types of high-quality glasses intended for different styles of wines. We have newly partnered with the very prestigious San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna mineral waters, which will be available during all organized tastings for winemakers and other exhibitors, as well as for purchase by trade fair visitors,
The essential novelty of this year’s fair will be a special tasting zone located right in the main hall, where a number of extremely interesting presentations, seminars and masterclasses will take place. We can already mention, for example, two tastings organized by the National Wine Center on the topic of important domestic varieties under the baton of national sommelier Klára Kollárová, as well as the presentation of the most prestigious still wines from the LVMH portfolio as well as top rosé from Provence from the world-famous Château d’Esclans.

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.