Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition interview with Sacha Lichine of Chateau d'Esclans (see blue link below).
Rapidly becoming an icon rosé...
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Everything at Chateau d'Esclans is done with quality as the overriding focus. They are very proud to say they take the same care and attention of their grapes as any of the top Bordeaux chateaux do of theirs, and no expense is spared to ensure every vintage reaches its potential in the bottle. The wines themselves are made by Patrick Leon, who used to make the wine at none other than Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and Opus One.
This superb rose is made from a blend of old vines grown on the Esclans estate by Burgundian winemaking techniques resulting in a rounded and expressive Provence rose with unusual complexity.
The Whispering Angel has a beautifully delicate pale pink colour. Redcurrant, dried flowers and spices abound on the nose, with a subtle herbal quality. The palate is refined and elegant with faint cherry nuances which are followed by elegant summer fruits and beautifully integrated, yet balanced acidity.
The 2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition interview with Sacha Lichine of Chateau d'Esclans (see blue link below).
Chateau d’Esclans is located on an exceptional site, on elevated land near the Gorges de Pennafort, twenty five kilometers northwest of the ancient Roman city of Frejus on the Mediterranean coast.
As a negociant and vinificateur (winery), Caves d’Esclans identifies vineyards, grapes and wines from Château d’Esclans as well as local growers to make what has reputedly become the world’s greatest rosé. As their objective is to obtain the best quality grapes and wines, they have created good working relationships with the local grape growers, situated beside Caves d’Esclans, whose vineyards are treated with the same high standards of quality as are the vineyards of Château d’Esclans.
The 2018 is the last vintage to be overseen by the great Patrick Léon: "Our beloved and extraordinarily valued Consulting Oenologist, Patrick Léon, passed away on the 11th of December after having finished his final assemblage of the 2018 vintage for our wines. Patrick’s unmatched sense of accumulated detail and attention to it coupled with executing remarkable precision underscore his outstanding contribution to making our wines great. Going forward his enormously talented, confident & passionate son our Technical Director, Bertrand Léon, in addition to his well oriented team will carry out Patrick’s remarkable legacy of crafting among the finest rosés in the world."
This wine is rapidly becoming an icon rosé...
It is made using a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle, Syrah, Tibouren.
To see Chateau dEsclans fiche technique for this wine, please click on the blue link below.
The 2015 Vintage was Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2016 edition's "Weekday Wines" (wines under £25) (see blue link below).
Château Gassier is situated 25 Kms from the ancient town of Aix en Provence, at the foot of Sainte Victoire mountain. The Gassier family bought Château Gassier and its 40 hectares of vines in 1982. Today the vineyard is managed by Georges Gassier, who represents the fifth winegrowing generation of the family, working with the support from his father. It is only over time that passion, hard work and know-how combined, have helped Château Gassier to develop its exceptional potential for excellence. The Pas du Moine is named as a reference to the footpath furrowing the south facing slope of the Mount Sainte-Victoire. The cuvée Le Pas du Moine invites you to explore the richness of this magnificient Sainte-Victoire terroir. From the 2016 vintage, the wine has been certified organic.
Their 40 hectares of vineyard is composed of the following grape varieties: 30% Grenache noir, 30% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, 5% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 2% Rolle et 3% Ugni blanc. The Estate's wines have been officially certified organic wines since 2016. The majority of the wines have the Côtes-de-Provence Sainte-Victoire protected designation which allow a maximal production of 50 hectolitres/ha.
Night harvesting of the grapes is followed by cold direct pressing, fermentation at low temperature: 14°C and then 18°C at the end of the fermentation.
This wine has a lychee colour with purple reflections. It has an intense nose, playing with white floral and exotic fruits notes. In the mouth, the first impression is fresh and round, supported by the citrus fruits delicacy (guava, grapefruit….). It has a great lingering finish.
Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition panel tasting of non-Provencale French rosé (see blue link below).
Domaine Joël Delaunay is a family-owned estate, located in the Touraine AOC. Today, fifth generation owner Thierry Delaunay runs the domaine. Like his forward-thinking father, Joël Delaunay, who insisted on estate bottling in 1970, Thierry was the first Touraine producer to bottle under screwcap in 2004. Domaine Joël Delaunay has 34 hectares of vineyards, practicing sustainable viticulture. 90% of their production is white, with Sauvignon Blanc being the predominant grape variety, and 10% is red, mostly Gamay and Cabernet Franc.
Domaine Joël Delaunay is situated on the bank of the Cher Valley, 50 kilometres east of Tours near the famous Château de Chenonceau. The soil is clay and silex (a mixture of flint and sand) and the pruning method is simple Guyot. The vineyards are planted with grass between the vines to control yields.
After a hard frost in April 2017, which had a significant impact across the Loire Valley, the end of spring and summer was relatively clement, allowing the grapes to reach optimum maturity. The harvest itself was early, starting from 1st September. Although the difficult conditions resulted in a small harvest, the small size of the grapes resulted in excellent concentration and very high quality fruit.
The grapes were pressed in a pneumatic press with careful selection of the resulting juices to control the colour. Alcoholic fermentation took place over 20 days at a temperature of 14°C. After fermentation, the wine was aged on its fine lees prior to cross flow filtration and bottling.
This wine is pale salmon-pink in colour. The nose opens with attractive scents of red berries and floral notes. The same fruit recurs on the palate, enhanced by a touch of pepper. The palate is lively and tense with a silky texture. A vibrant, enjoyable rosé.
Awarded a Platinum Medal, 97 points and Best in Show Status at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
When Cédric Gravier took over the family operation in 1996, the production - which until then had been sent to the winemaking cooperative - received a new lease of life with the addition of a producing cellar. The domaine extends over 60 hectares of the Bandol AOC and includes a number of varied plots, located for the most part in the villages of La Cadière and le Castellet.
This wine (a blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 30% Cinsault, 20% Grenache 20%, 10% Carignan) hails from from a terroir of calcareous clay, typical of Bandol, its quality partially explained by the low yield of just 40 hl/ha.
Harvested during the month of September, in line with the ripeness of each variety. The grapes were selected depending on their condition and underwent skin contact (maceration pelliculaire) at a low temperature before being pressed. The juice, after settling, was placed in a stainless steel vat for a period of 15 days between 18°C and 20°C before racking. The juice was fined in early November then re-racked and assembled in January. The final assemblage is stocked in concrete vats until bottling after filtration from March to July.
This is a Bandol rose of both freshness and subtlety. It has a a clear and shiny robe (salmon-coloured), a delicate nose of candied citrus fruit and spices and a surprisingly full-bodied, balanced and fresh impact on the palate.
The 2016 was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition panel tasting of non-Provencale French rosé (see blue link below).
Run by Pascal and Marie-Laure together with their son Marius, Domaine Tabordet is a 19-hectare estate, including five hectares in Sancerre and 14 in Pouilly-Fumé. The domain is very much a family business, run in a traditional spirit, but using the latest winemaking technology. The vineyards are managed with the utmost respect for sustainability and biodiversity. The resulting wines are a true reflection of the diverse terroirs which make up their estate, showing characteristic flinty flavours, with good weight and a full body.
The winter was mild, with cold spells in January. Spring was marked by frost, which affected some vines. The summer warmed up and flowering took place under good weather conditions. The summer remained warm and was very dry; as a result the vines stared to get depleted of water. Thankfully a significant storm took place at the end of July, bringing beneficial rainwater. Harvest took place early, starting on 18th September, with grapes having reached good maturity levels and excellent quality.
The vineyard is situated in the heart of the Sancerre appellation on the left bank of the Loire River. The vines are trained according to the Guyot method. The vineyard is carefully cultivated throughout the year with debudding of the vines, tilling of the soil to reduce the need for weed killers and certain parcels are left with grass cover to limit the vigour of the vines. Deleafing takes place at the end of June. The soil in the vineyard is made up of Kimmeridgian marl, which is a chalky clay, flint and pebbly limestone, known locally as caillottes. The soil imparts the distinctive mineral and flinty characteristics to the wine. The harvest takes place between mid-September and mid-October when the grapes have reached optimal maturity and the vines are machine harvested in order to retain the freshness and aromatics in the berries.
The grapes were carefully sorted and gently pressed in a pneumatic press. The must was lightly clarified, followed by a slow fermentation in thermostatically controlled stainless steel vats to retain the purity of fruit. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation and was bottled young to retain freshness.
With its attractive pale salmon colour, this cool climate rosé from this illustrious region of France is elegantly styled. Lifted notes of sweet fruits, citrus and blood orange follow through to a crisp, delicately fruity palate with a hint of minerality and an elegant long finish.
Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition panel tasting of non-Provencale French rosé (see blue link below).
Gérard Bertrand is one of the most outstanding winemakers in the South of France. A biodynamic pioneer, he owns numerous estates among the most prestigious crus of Languedoc-Roussillon. Formerly the IWC Red Winemaker of the Year and winner of Wine Enthusiast‘s European Winery of the Year, Gérard has been cited as the “King of the Languedoc” among critics. Acquired in November 2011, Château la Sauvageonne is located northwest of Montpellier. With a long winemaking history, this Château is a legendary site. The combination of its orientation, its situation on the Larzac terraces at 300 meters altitude and the exceptional volcanic terroir, produces stunning wines of unique character.
The estate is located to the north-west of Montpellier, situated on the terraces of Causse du Larzac at between 150 and 350 metres of altitude. The vineyard's orientation, combined with its exceptional terroir give it a unique character. The soil consists of stones derived from sandstone or schist for the first 30 centimetres and then a layer of clay. Specifically the soil is made up of “Ruffes” which is a thin, filtering soil rich in minerals , such as bauxite, iron, aluminium and uranium; and sandstone with shale, which is deeper and broken up, allowing the creation of a water reserve. The landscape is moulded by the region’s volcanic past. The area is influenced by wide temperature ranges, with warm, sunny days and cooler, fresh summer nights brought about by breezes from the sea and the proximity to the Causse plateaus. These diurnal temperature differences are beneficial and encourage a slow, progressive ripening of the berries.
The grapes were hand picked between sunrise and 10am, in order to retain the freshness in the berries. The Grenache and Mourvèdre came from plots of old vines on the hill sides, which produce small berries with low yields. The Vermentino and Viognier are cultivated on the schist hill sides. The Grenache was co-fermented with the Vermentino and the Viognier. Full bunches of grapes were immediately pressed and only the free run juice and the juice from the first press were used to produce this cuvée. After a cold setting, the fermentation began in vats, followed by a partial fermentation in oak.
The bouquet offers up notes of crushed strawberries, sweet spice and floral notes of violet and hawthorne. Powerful and generous, with a velvety texture and a revitalising freshness. This wine is built on tension and stamped with a brilliant salinity. Delicious served with delicate fish dishes, poultry in a cream sauce or a selection of fresh cheese.
The 2016 vintage was Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Spanish Value Wines (under £20); (see blue link below) (NB: Decanter are showing the wrong bottle - the standard RB Rosado - in this review).
Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of their Top 30 Rosés (see blue link below).
The growth cycle of the 2016 vintage was characterised by a delay of 15 days in comparison to a typical year. After a very cold end to the winter, spring saw the arrival of abundant showers. Summer was very dry especially towards the end of the vineyard's cycle. The quality of fruit produced in 2016 was very good.
The grapes were harvested manually into small 15kg crates which were refrigerated and taken to the winery where they remained in cool conditions for a further 24 hours. They then passed to the optical sorting table where only the best loose, whole, healthy grapes were selected. After gentle maceration and racking, the must is transferred to concrete eggs to settle before fermentation. The fermentation occurs over 20 days and is done at temperatures below 15°Cto conserve the wine's more delicate aromas. After fermentation the wine is left on its fine lees for around a month before bottling.
LaLomba Rosado has a pale peach colour which is both clear and bright. The aromas are complex with medium intensity with notes of fresh red fruits, apricot, lychee and citrus. There is also a hint of orange blossom and some delicate herbal notes. The palate is perfectly balanced and it recalls the fruity character foiund on the nose. This wine is ready to drink but can be laid down if necessary.
This is a great aperitif but also goes well with salmon, sushi and mussels.
The 2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition panel tasting of non-Provencale French rosé (see blue link below). However, it is stubbornly unavailable in the UK market, and we offer the excellent 2015 vintage, a little age on Tavel being tyically a good thing!
See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.