The rolling hills of southern Provence provide the backdrop for the picturesque Chateau d’Esclans. It’s the sort of place that begs you to sit on its sundrenched terrace with a glass of cool rosé. Nestled amongst the gnarled Grenache vines, the site and chateau were fully renovated in 2006 by new owner, Sacha Lichine. It is the old vines that really set this estate apart from its neighbours, with the higher elevated sections of the vineyards housing up to 90 year old vines, giving the wines a depth and structure that makes for some imaginative food pairing. Along with Grenache, small amounts of Rolle (Vermentino) and Cinsault are added to the mix.
Consulting winemaker is Patrick Leon, a Bordeaux native with a hugely impressive CV including 20 years with Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Lightness of touch is important here; the grapes are hand-picked and very lightly crushed at low temperatures and some wines are, unusually for the region, barrel aged to give further complexity. The flagship wine, Whispering Angel, is aged in stainless steel and offers a supremely elegant, easy drinking style.