... they should wind their necks in! Because Sasha Lichine and Patrick Leon have Rose nailed with the range of wines available from Chateau D'Esclans.
I've often said that I like all types of wine except Rose - I’ve always found it to be too sweet or two acidic and without enough interest from primary flavours (or any flavours for that matter) to make it palatable. To me it’s just so dull! However, a trip to Provence changed all that as I found the elusive “flavourful” Rosé. Now, it would be unfair of me to say that Chateau D’Esclans is the only producer of Rosé that I deem drinkable. I’m sure there are many others out there waiting for me to discover them. However, this was the first Rosé that I have ever liked and for that I am grateful to them – It’s always a great day when a new category of drinks is opened-up to you.
The story of Chateau D’Esclans is a fascinating one. The owner, Sasha Lichine, a larger than life character that exudes passion for wine, has been brought up to be a winemaker. His Father Alexis Lichine has a history in the wine world that is legendary and would take up all the space I have in this column, so I recommend looking him up. To cut a fascinating and long story short, you know Chateau Prieure Lichine the 4th Growth Margaux? Well that’s where Sasha cut his teeth and eventually took ownership from his father in 1989. So how did an owner of a respected and prestigious Chateau end up in the world of Rosé? Well, it was a bold move but only one he was prepared to do if he was going to make …. “The best Rosé in the world!!!”
… and as far as I can tell that is exactly what he has done.
Touring the winery is a fascinating experience, the place is set up with the best equipment from grape reception to the barrel room and beyond (yes, barrel – the top-end in the range see barrel ageing and the balance is phenomenal). The whole winery is a well designed, carefully choreographed journey for the grapes to get the very best flavour out of them. The precision of the control is second to none – they even have a temperature control system in place for each barrel. The whole design of the winery is the brain child of Patrick Leon who’s experience as an oenologist is unparalleled. You know Opus One? Well Patrick was behind that!
With such pedigree behind the Chateau it’s hardly surprising that they have pulled this miracle out of the bag. All this experience and insight has led to the first Rosé that I have ever liked, and not just liked but loved!!! It’s truly delicious, you must try it*
*actually there is a range of four and I loved them all – but you get the point