Chateau d’Esclans Rock Angel 2014: A Rosé for All Seasons
Rock Angel is simply gorgeous. It is a lush, flavorful, well-balanced wine, a complex blend of old-vine grenache with added cinsault, rolle, and syrah. Red berry and mineral dominate the palate, and the wine demonstrates impressive structure and refreshing acidity.
The finish is exceptionally long for a rosé, and ends with a breath of the sea. Despite its “bad-girl” name, this latest entry into the Chateau d’Esclans stable is impeccably well-bred, and a textbook example of the importance of terroir.
Rock Angel’s quality will not surprise fans of renowned winemaker Patrick Leon, creator of Rock’s younger sister, “Whispering Angel,” one of my top five favorites in the under $25 rosé category.
This legendary vintner has supervised the production of wines at prestigious and diverse vineyards such as the Château Mouton Rothschild and Mouton Cadet in Bordeaux; the Domaine de Baron’arques in the Languedoc. In addition, he’s done consulting on the great Lechine wines and served as consulting winemaker to Opus One in California and Escudo Rojo in Chile.
Rock Angel is exceptionally versatile. It is assertive and intriguing enough to serve as an aperitif, alongside grilled fish and seafood, refined enough to serve with poached or gently sautéed fish and shellfish, and complex enough to complement roasted poultry (yes, even Thanksgiving turkey). I served it with a seafood paella and the table sighed with pleasure.
While Whispering Angel will always be one of my go-to summer favorites, Rock Angel promises to flavor our food with Mediterranean sun year-round. A real blessing.