Whispering Angel Rose is a Cotes de Provence Rose made by Caves d’Esclans and it has to be one of the biggest wine success stories of recent years.
Caves d’Esclans was only founded as recently as 2006 by Sacha Lichine when he purchased the 659 acre Chateau d’Esclans estate. The estate is located in the village of La Motte on the Route de Callas, approximately 15 miles to the north of St Tropez and has some 108 acres under vine. Sacha Lichine is the son of French wine industry legend Alexis Lichine and Sacha began to learn about wine whilst working at this father’s property, Chateau Prieure Lichine in Margaux. There are several wines made at Chateau d’Esclans including Rock Angel Rose which is 100% estate grown fruit. The Whispering Angel Rose, however, is made from some estate fruit and some bought in fruit from growers located around La Motte en Provence area.
The wine is a blend of Grenache, Rolle (the local name for Vermentino) and Cinsault. The grapes are hand-harvested into 10kgs boxes from sunrise to midday to ensure that they remain cool and arrive at the winery in the best condition. At the winery the grapes are manually and then optically sorted. The grapes are then destemmed and are lightly crushed. Both the free run juice and the pressed juice are vinified separately. The wine undergoes batonnage (lees stirring) twice a week which adds more complexity and some creaminess to the wine. It is unoaked.
The head winemaker at Chateau d’Eclans is Patrick Leon who had previously worked for Alexis Lichine and managing director of Baron Phillipe de Rothschild where he oversaw Chateau Mouton Rothschild amongst others. Whispering Angel Rose has quickly grown into a multi-million bottle per vintage phenomenon and is especially popular in the US where is it sometimes known as “Hamptons Water” due to its popularity with the good and great in the Hamptons.