Rock Angel may have given you glimpses of warmer weather while sipping on après-ski in the Swiss Alps or relaxing on a yacht in Miami, but with summer fast approaching, Rock Angel is ready to be your favorite rose of the coming season. There is just something about the clean, pure brightness of a well-made rose that makes everything more rosy. Rose is good and beautifully chilled on its own, of course, but also goes well with a variety of foods, from cheese and fruit, to oysters, to pastas, pizza, and more. This year, consider upgrading your rosy experience with the Rock Angel Côtes de Provence Rosé from Château d’Esclans.
Rosé wine has a long history and may in fact have been one of the earliest red wines, when ancient winemakers learned to let pressed grape juice come into contact with the skins of red grapes during the initial steps of fermentation. But during the latter half of the 20th century, rosé gained a reputation as being loud and uninteresting (or overtly sweet), and many wine drinkers avoided it. The class had little standardization and even less respect for it. However, in recent years, winemakers have once again taken roses more seriously, focusing on grape varieties, regions, and techniques that work best with typical small wines (in general, roses are best enjoyed within a year or two of their antiquity) .
You may already be familiar with the Rock Angel sister label, Whispering Angel. This brand has been around since the mid-2000s and helped usher in a new era of pink wine appreciation. When it was launched, Whispering Angel was a gateway to wine drinkers with a fruity, fragrant summer freshness. It’s affordable and accessible and was a perfect introduction to the class for a new generation of art enthusiasts. More than a decade after the launch of Whispering Angel, Rock Angel provides an even more sophisticated, complex and rewarding experience. Consider him the more mature sibling, ready for a day in the harbor or a night on the town. Many roses work best in context – designed to compliment sun, good companionship, and the liveliness of the moment. But the Rock Angel is meant to be savored and explored on its own merits. A carefully prepared, well-balanced wine full of captivating aromatic flavours. Rock Angel is an elegant, vibrant, high-energy rose wrapped in a label designed by artist Hello Von, offering a beautiful yet high-energy bottle.
Rock Angel is the brainchild of winemaker Sacha Lichen. Born in France and trained in every aspect of winemaking in both France and America, Lechine specialized in the red blends of his native Bordeaux. He became passionate about Rosé wines when he acquired d’Esclans in 2006. Since then, LVMH has entered into a joint venture with Château d’Esclans in 2019 helping the brand continue its rapid growth trajectory. At the time, Lichten advocated the “Pink Renaissance”. He and other winemakers helped customers break out of outdated stereotypes and rediscover the joys of pale pink, soft salmon, brick orange, or light purple wines. In the past decade, rose wine has become a “must-have” wine of festivals, yacht picnics, and certainly on Instagram hashtags (like #roseallday), appealing to all genders and ages.
What gives Rock Angel her unique pink personality? First, the grapes are harvested from the vineyards of the Château d’Esclans property in Provence, with at least 70 percent of the grapes grown on the grape estate and sorted by hand for size and quality. The grapes are picked between sunrise and noon to keep them cool in the temperatures. Initial destruction and slight crushing are done in a temperature-controlled setting, kept below about 46 degrees Fahrenheit (to reduce oxidation, which can affect the taste of the wine). Blending Grenache, Cinsault, and Rolle (Vermentino) white wines, the wine is partially fermented in 600-liter (about 158 gallons) French oak barrels. About 25 percent of the wine that ends up is fermented in bottle by barrel, while the other 70 percent is fermented in large stainless steel tanks. Uncommon for roses these days, the juices are free and pressed first, not wet with the skin. Therefore, much of the wine’s color comes from squeezing red grapes and from barrel fermentation.
All that hard work results in an elegant, ultra-pale floral rose, with complex scents of peach, primrose, candied orange, and fresh berries. On the first sip, hold it in your mouth for a moment and explore the flavors and texture. The wine is medium bodied, luxurious and silky. Some of that leafy feel comes from the grapes used, some is from the reliance on the free juices, and some of the rich texture comes from that time spent fermenting in acorns. However, Rock Angel is by no means an “oak” wine. The flavors reflect a lot of what comes in the bunch: a crisp, fruity palate with notes of bright peach and citrus, a touch of toasted nuts and a light metallic finish. Instead of thinking of it simply as a rose topper served alongside cheese and almonds (which you can certainly do), consider it your base wine with dinner. From hearty fish entrees to spicy sausage, and from Thai noodle dishes to pizza, wine sparkles alongside the meal.
Rock Angel is in a premium class (SPR about $40). But you definitely get what you pay for here: a wine that takes you to the next level, a wine that can seamlessly transport you from day to night, as an appetizer, dinner wine, or even a night glass in a luxury lounge. It’s a wine you’ll be proud to serve, gift, or enjoy during the festive period. It’s the kind of wine that’s easy to take and easy to drink, yet lends itself to being really craving for what’s in the glass.
It started with Whisper and now we’re ready to rock!
This article is sponsored by Rock Angel.