2018 Château d’Esclans, Les Clans, Côtes de Provence, France
The top-flight 2018 releases from Sacha Lichine’s temple to elite rosé have just arrived in the UK. While a few merchants stock my featured Les Clans, the pinnacle wine, Garrus, is available from just one! I have tasted every single wine from this estate since Sacha dared to dream that he could turn the wine world on its head fifteen years ago.
As if to underline his success, a few months ago Bernard Arnault’s LVMH group bought a majority stake in this stellar brand. While the most famous Provence rosé on the planet is Esclans’ very own Whispering Angel, it is the two estate wines that I completely adore.
Every single time I open these wines my guests go suitably gaga! They are so sophisticated it is amazing. Les Clans is simply stunning in 2018 with ethereal grenache flesh punctured by a spear of freshness, coming from the careful addition of the rolle grape. This high-tensile silver thread of cool minerality counterpoints the lusty red grape’s stunning virility. There are discreet peach and raspberry notes softening the flavour attack throughout, and these act as highlights in the performance. This is what mind-blowing rosé is all about.
2018 Garrus (£94.95, finewinedirect.co.uk) is Les Clans with the volume knob turned up, ripped off and thrown over the garden
hedge. Sensational, bombastic, imposing, impossibly grand and, for once, relatively forward.