Review At Length: D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2015
D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2015 Review
If you enjoy rosé wine, chances are you have tried (or at least heard of) D’Esclans Whispering Angel. With its alluring name, attractive label, hallmark pale pink Provencal hue, and cult following – it’s hard to be a wine enthusiast and not have picked up a bottle at some point in recent years.
My first exposure to Whispering Angel happened on Vivino, while I was aimlessly browsing the top wines of various regions. This was listed under “Provence Rosé”, and had received an impressive 4.0/5.0 with a staggering 18,000+ reviews! I quickly added it to my Wish List.
Fast forward to my 100th review on the app (by the way, you can follow me by clicking here). I wanted to knock something off my Wish List, and it just so happened there was a sale on this wine at my local grocer for $19.99 (down from the regular $24.99), so I scooped up a bottle.
I was still early on in my wine exploration days, so I didn’t have the most discerning palate. While I enjoyed the wine overall, I didn’t love it. I rated it 3.5/5.0, having found it to be lacking structure and balance. It was heavy with minerality, but “still very gentle”. Weird way to describe it, I know.
But that’s still how I feel about this wine two years later, having tasted the same 2015 vintage (apparently my grocer had some issues pushing its stock due to pricing, which we will discuss later). It has all the minerality I tend to enjoy in a rosé, without carrying any other flavors to round out the wine. It’s not bad, but it’s not 4.0/5.0 good, either. It’s simple and easy, which makes it perfect for summer sipping, but is it worth all the hype? Barely.
If you are active on social media, then you are probably aware of all the marketing that goes into Whispering Angel. It’s not just a wine, it’s a brand. Actually, it’s a lifestyle. Whispering Angel is the rosé that all the pretty girls drink. That the jetsetting elite make sure to pack their bags with. That sophisticated men who dress fashionably aren’t afraid to be pictured with. When you see a photo of Whispering Angel, you want to be in that scene, living that life.
But the reality is that most of us don’t own a yacht, can’t afford lavish vacations, and don’t have a closet full of designer clothes. But if we drink Whispering Angel, maybe, just maybe, we can get a taste of that lifestyle.
And this is where the price tag comes in. Now, depending on where you live or what store you shop at, you can find Whispering Angel for anywhere between $18-$25. Where I live, it’s closer to the pricier end of that spectrum. And also where I live, people don’t buy $25 bottles of wine. They buy $5 bottles of wine. Or more realistically, they buy Natty Ice. So this is why, in 2018, I was still able to buy a bottle of 2015 – ancient in rosé years (these wines should be consumed super young).
But this also speaks to a bigger point about Whispering Angel – something that seems to echo in my circle of wine enthusiasts that I connect with on social media. When you buy a bottle of Whispering Angel, you are not paying for the relatively average rosé wine you are getting – you are paying for the image of luxury behind the brand. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as you are aware of this.
“As a negociant and vinificateur (winery), Caves d’esclans identifies vineyards, grapes and wines from Château d’esclans as well as local growers to make what has reputedly become the world’s greatest rosé. As our objective is to obtain the best quality grapes and wines, we have created relationships with the local grape growers, committed beside Caves d’esclans, whose vineyards are treated with the same high standards of quality as are the vineyards of Château d’esclans.”
Sacha Alexis Lichine
France – La Motte, Côtes de Provence
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME
- Rolle (Vermentino)
Percentages unknown. All grapes are harvested from sunrise to noon. Made via the direct press method, using both free run and pressed juice.
Stainless steel, time unknown.
Color: Delicate, pale pink with a hint of shimmering gold.
Aroma: Fresh and clean with lemon, crushed wet stones, and a touch of herbs and orange peel.
Body: Light-medium. Full of minerals and acidity, yet thin and lacking enough fruitiness to provide structure and balance.
Flavor: Chalk and slate minerality, with tart yet gentle notes grapefruit, lemon, raspberry, strawberry.
Pairing Suggestions: Light appetizers and dishes, such as cheese plates, salads, Mezze platters and crudité.
You can buy Whispering Angel online and try it for yourself by clicking here!
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I’d love to hear your thoughts on Whispering Angel, as it is a love/hate topic. Leave me a comment below!