Caves d’esclans Whispering Angel Rosé
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, Whispering Angel. As our objective is to obtain the best quality grapes and wines, we have created relationships with the local grape growers, committed beside Caves d’esclans, whose vineyards are treated with the same high standards of quality as are the vineyards of Château d’esclans.
Château d’esclans harvesting takes place from sunrise to noon to avoid the heat of the day. During the harvest, grapes that are selected and picked are put in small (10 kilo) crates which are deliberately that size in order to prevent grapes placed at the bottom of the crates from getting crushed. Caves d’esclans Whispering Angel grapes are handpicked and mechanically harvested.
Once the grapes arrive to the cellars, they are sorted manually and then go through optical sorting. All grapes which go into vinification are perfectly de-stemmed and resemble each of the correct physical characteristics dictated by the wine maker including shape, size, color and general condition. This is verified by an optical eye which is programmed to detect whether grapes ‘make the grade’.
Cooling & Pressing
The grapes are then sent through the heat exchange system which reduce their temperature from what can be as high as 29 degrees c down to 7-8 degrees c followed by a soft press which produces 3 grades of what is primarily free run juice.
Barrels & Vats
Subsequently, depending on which grade of juice the press produces, the wine makers determine which will be used to make barrel fermented (aged) wine or stainless steel fermented wine.
Laboratory testing and analysis is conducted throughout the vinification process.
Bottling & Packaging
The bottling and packing of Whispering Angel take place at Caves d’esclans.
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. The first traces of the chateau’s site date back to Gaullist times during which its location served as a lookout point to spot intruders coming by boat into the Gulf of Frejus. The chateau’s cellar structure or foundation (known today as the oldest in the region) housed an original Chateau that was given by the Comte de Provence to Gérard De Villeneuve, in 1201. The current chateau, inspired by Tuscan Villa design, was built during the mid 19th century.
Château d’Esclans lies in the center of the Department of the Var, where the majority of Provence AOC rosé is produced. The land was occupied as long as 2500 years ago when it was probably used as a lookout point for intruders sailing into the Gulf of Frejus. The original château—of which now only the cellar remains—dates back to before the 12th century. In 1201, Gérard De Villeneuve, part of a wealthy family from Marseille, took ownership of the château and the majority of the surface area of the Vallée d’Esclans that would eventually be sold off in lots. Two brothers, Sauver Louis Ranque and Francois Alexandre Ranque, were the next to own the château, known then as Terre d’Esclans.
In 1875, they sold the property to Joseph Toussaint Caussemille, who manufactured wooden matches near Marseilles. In 1955, the Perraud family owned the property until 1994. At that time, it was purchased by a Swedish pension fund that produced a small amount of wine and the remaining grapes were sold to neighboring winemakers. Sacha Lichine aquired Château d’Esclans in 2006. Today there are 108 acres (44 ha) of vineyards. The total proprety has 659 acres (267 ha).
The primary grape grown on the property is Grenache followed by Vermentino. Other grapes include Cinsault, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Tibouren. The château is known for its old Grenache vines which produce grapes that offer greater concentration of flavor than do the younger vines. As the elevation to where the lots are situated increases, so do the age of the vines. At the highest elevated lot vines are as old as 90 years.
Learn more about Chateau d’Esclans and Whispering Angel rosé at their website.