• By: OLM Staff

The Rosé That Might Just Change Your Mind…

Back in 2008, I went to a lunch for a tasting of Château d’Esclans wines… the centerpiece of this tasting were four rosés and that might come as a surprise to many. First off, you don’t usually see a winery centering its production around pink wine, and secondly, they were priced from $20 to $99 USD. Now, I hear you saying, with some degree of incredulity: “For a rosé?”  But I have to tell you they were some of the best rosés I ever had a chance to try… and usually rosé is not my thing because most of the stuff you find is pretty sweet… and while there is a place for that, too much can be a headache waiting to happen. The owner Sasha Lichine, of the famed Bordeaux house Château Prieuré-Lichine, had some very interesting notions of how rosé should be perceived, and made… I give you a short excerpt of my write-up from 2008:

“When I mention ‘rosé’ to most people, it conjures up sweet, pink wines that are best consumed ice cold… when you say ‘rosé’ to Sacha Alexis Lichine, he thinks of something completely different – and he’d like you to share in his vision.

“In 1994, Sacha began looking at a property in Provence (France) that had 70-year-old Grenache vines – it is his belief that serious wine can only be made using serious grapes – and Grenache, of that age, are very serious grapes indeed. In 2006, Sacha opened Château d’Esclans in Provence with the intention of making the world’s best rosés – and he just might be on to something here.

“This afternoon, we tasted the four wines from the inaugural (2006) vintage of these extremely pale pink wines…”  My review goes on to describe three of the four wines which truly changed the way I looked at rosé; it made me see it in a whole new light, as a wine that, while built for fun, can still deliver some seriously good taste.

So why in the world am I bringing up this ancient history of a tasting … well, since the hot weather seems to have finally arrived, I thought I would point your attention to a wine that just came out in the LCBO this past weekend and tell you that you owe it to yourself to find and buy a bottle: Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel 2012 ($19.95 – #325076) – this is some seriously good rosé, dry and fruity without going over the top… the pale pink color is almost indiscernible from white when it’s in the glass, but while in the bottle (and once you get a taste of this wine, it won’t be long there), it’s lighter than salmon or fresh-squeezed peach juice. This is the one rosé that’ll turn haters of the style into lovers and lovers into swooners… it is elegant and finally here under $20 a bottle. Buy it while you can.  (****)