(2023) Syrah, Grenache, Rolle, MourvÃ¨dre, Cinsault and Tibouren are in the mix here, from an estate owned by the luxury goods house of Channel. Unusually it is based on the island of Porquerolles, just off Franceâ€™s CÃ´te dâ€™Azur, a 12.5 hectare organically farmed estate. A slightly deeper shade than many, touching bronze, the nose has orange and melon rind notes, hints of spice here too. In the mouth, plenty of flavour here. There's ripeness of pear fruit along with red berry succulence. It hints at some sweetness, but then a racy, slightly saline acidity grabs and extends the finish. Again quite a serious and gastronomic style with a bit of substance. Â£27.95 by the half dozen.
(2023) I was thinking the other day that Whispering Angel is a phenomenon cut from very similar cloth to Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines are pristine, beautifully made examples of their style, but it is perhaps surprising that these prestige bottlings are in such demand by 'ordinary' consumers, even though they sell for well above the UK average wine price of little more than Â£6. Both wines have captured the consumers' imagination, and each new release is eagerly anticipated. This 2022 is hitting retailer shelves at time of writing. It is the usual blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle, made in stainless steel from a very careful selection of fruit. Such a delicate perfume: rose-hip and pot-pourri, fresh red berries, juiciness of watermelon. On the palate it is dry and refined, the red berries hint at tartness to make the mouth water, the wine finishing with shimmering, elegant acidity. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) Partially barrel fermented in large oak barrels, Rock Angel is made from Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle. A slightly deeper, peachier colour than the other wines tasted here, and a peachier fruit character too: aromatically some floral character, orange and that peach down softness. There's substance on the palate here: yes, there is charming stone fruit and light strawberry character, but a bit of grip too, the barrel component, keen acidity and a touch of tannin even giving real gastronomic credentials. For me the (comparatively) meatiest of the Esclans line-up, but just delicious.