I Bought a $100 Still Rosé - Was it Worth it?
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Grape Chic here! Just writing in to let you know that I spent $100 of my hard-earned money on a bottle of still rosé just to let you all know if it was worth it. So basically…you’re welcome. Although I was super excited to get my Coravin through that expensive little cork, I haven’t been completely honest with you. In fact, this isn’t the first time I’ve tried this rosé. The first time I tasted this nectar of the gods was after a 9 hour and 30 minute red-eye from JFK to Nice in September 2019. I had to quickly change in the airport bathroom before a full day of winery appointments on approximately zero hours of sleep. To say I was delirious would be an understatement. So yes, I do vaguely remember the magic of this wine, but I was in no frame of mind to write or keep notes. So here I am on basically a first anniversary (clear-headed), to decide if the hype is real.
Château d’Esclans within the Côte de Provence AOC is known for many things. The first of which would be for the quaffable, yet overpriced label called, “Whispering Angel.” You may have seen this wine plastered all over your screen while watching “Summer House” on Bravo…or at basically any local wine shop all over the US. I mean, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve definitely been living under a rock. This label has also come under some fire for not including more diversity in their marketing campaigns, which is quite frankly, unacceptable.
They have a few other labels that have drawn worldwide attention as well. ‘The Palm’ and ‘Rock Angel’ promote that “fun in the sun, St. Tropez” attitude; but what about that infamous bottle that blows the minds of the wine industry’s most infamous palates?
The history and lineage of Château d’Esclans run deep, and I do encourage you to visit their website to learn more, but that’s not why we’re all here today. Let’s be honest. So without further ado, let me introduce to you Château d’Esclans GARRUS Rosé 2017.
This wine is made from a single vineyard and 100-year old Grenache and Rolle (Vermentino) vines. It’s fermented and aged in large new French oak barrels for 11 months, and is considered to be “the heart to Sasha Lichine’s vision in 2006 to make rosé grand.”
The wine is clear, pale salmon with an extremely pronounced nose. Notes like orange blossom, white peach, toast, hibiscus tea, and wet stone fly out of the glass like my nephew flying out of bed on Christmas morning. It’s intoxicating, almost lustful causing me to think only about my next whiff…my next fix.
On the palate, the wine continues to impress with a textured and creamy mouth feel. Pronounced notes of white stone fruits, white blossom, chamomile, toast, orange creamsicile, and wet stone dance around as a medium (+) acidity lifts everything up (to Jesus) for added freshness. This is no “vins de soif.” This wine asks for food…no actually, it demands it.
The finish is extremely long and it lingers like an unwanted houseguest…except this particular houseguest is quite welcome. In fact, I would like to invite them to move right in. Borrow my Chanel if you want.
So, do I think this wine is worth $100? Maybe. I think it depends on how it’s enjoyed. I’d feel a little bit better if it was closer to $70, but I appreciate luxury and understand why it demands the price it does. It doesn’t drink like a recognizable Provençal rosé; instead, it’s more like a complex white wine. We spend much more than this on the white wines of Burgundy, don’t we? The people who say it’s not worth it are probably the same people who won’t spend $1,000 on a pair of shoes or $200 on a small caviar tin for 1. But I’m that person. On the right occasion.