Bruce’s Pick: 2017 Caves D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé, $24.00

Originally, I was going to select a familiar rosé for my wine pick, one that we buy and sell a lot of every year. However, a lucky lightning strike changed my mind. I was casually discussing our amazing selection of rosés with a young frenchman customer I know—one who drinks a LOT of rosé. We were sharing experiences with this year’s favorites when he singled out this Whispering Angel as by far the most amazing he had tasted. Ordinarily, I would pay no attention to a wine sporting the name “Whispering Angel” (any more than I would one labeled “The Devil Made Me Do It”), but his rave review did make me take notice. All I can say is that my initial taste exceeded my expectations and scaled the high bar that customer had set. Crafted from a fortuitous blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle, Syrah and Tibouren, what must have contributed to the superb quality of this wine is the extreme care in which it was made. Harvested only in the cool early morning, the destemming and slight crushing is also done at cool temperatures, then lightly pressed and vinified in stainless steel, again temperature controlled. The result is this delicate, ethereal rosé, redolent with the bouquet of discreet flowers and wild strawberries with an endless finish. Sacha Lachine, the owner of the estate, would surely have made his legendary father, Alexis Lichine, proud with this wonderful effort. I had to smile at the comment by Serena Sutcliffe, MW and Wine Director of the famous Sotheby’s auction house, when she said it is “loaded onto yachts on the Côte d’Azur and consumed in quantity by connoisseurs.”