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Chateau d'Esclans Rose 2009
Also enchanted by the Provence his father speaks of with emotion, Sacha Alexis Lichine, convinced by the potential of these sun-drenched soils, become the owner, with the Angostura group, of Chateau d'Esclans in 2006. Since then, he hasn't ceased to combine his talent and know-how to this magical terroir, and has given a new dimension to Provence Rose, making a unique assemblage of refinement and pleasure. A new chapter has begun in the world of Rose.
Patrick Leon has unparalleled experience in making among the great wines of the world. Leon served as a Managing Director for Baron Phillipe de Rothschild, overseeing technical departments including the company's vineyards and winemaking facilities for Chateau Mouton Rothschild, d'armailhac, Clerc Milon, le Petit Mouton, Aile d'Argent, Opus One in California, Almaviva in Chile, Domaine de Lambert & Barn' Arques in the Languedoc, Mouton Cadet in Bordeaux as well as other wines in the Baron Phillipe de Rothschild portfolio, including Escudo Rojo in Chile. Patrick's wide breadth of experience and knowledge has established the foundation to becoming a consulting oenologist and working with Sacha Lichine in this capacity. Towards that end, Patrick has been instrumental in overseeing the wine making for Chateau d’Esclans. Patrick Leon's guidance and his enduring counsel have made an immeasurable difference to making all the Lichine wines as great as they are.
Chateau d'Esclans is located on an exceptional site, on elevated land near the Gorges de Pennafort. The surrounding land around Chateau d'Esclans is known as La Vallee des Esclans (the valley of the clans).
More than just a European vacation hotspot and the rosé capital of the world, Provence is a coastal, southeastern French appellation increasingly producing interesting wines of all colors. The warm, breezy Mediterranean climate is ideal for grape growing and the diverse terrain and soil types allow for a variety of wine styles within the region. Adjacent to the Rhône Valley, Provence shares some characteristics with its northwestern neighbor—namely, the fierce Mistral wind and the plentiful wild herbs (such as rosemary, lavender, juniper and thyme) often referred to as ‘garrigue.’ The largest appellation here is Côtes de Provence, followed by Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence.
Provence is internationally acclaimed for its dry, refreshing, pale-hued rosé wines, which make up the vast majority of the region’s production. These are typically blends, often dominated by Mourvèdre and supplemented by Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, and other varieties.
A small amount of full-bodied, herbal white wine is made here—particularly from the Cassis appellation, from Clairette and Marsanne. Other white varieties used throughout Provence include Roussane, Sémillon, Vermentino (known locally as Rolle) and Ugni blanc.
Perhaps the most interesting wines of the region, however, are the red wines of Bandol. Predominantly Mourvèdre, these are powerful, structured, and ageworthy wines with lush berry fruit and savory characteristics of earth and spice.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. It is produced throughout the world from a vast array of grape varieties, but the most successful sources are California, southern France (particularly Provence), and parts of Spain and Italy.
Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color will depend on the grape variety and the winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta. These wines are typically fresh and fruity, fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve the primary aromas and flavors. Most rosé, with a few notable exceptions, should be drunk rather young, within a few years of the vintage.