Château d'Esclans is a 427-hectare property, including 140 hectares of vines, located in the heart of the Var, 25 km north of Fréjus, on the Mediterranean coast. With a beautiful Tuscan-style residence, the estate produces high-end rosés that combine elegance and richness, shaking up the wine world. Producing around 10 million bottles per year, they are distributed in more than 100 countries, with the United States leading the way, followed by the United Kingdom and France.
the technical sheet of Château d'esclans
OWNER: Moët Hennessy SNC (LVMH) and Sacha Lichine
MANAGING DIRECTOR: Sacha Lichine
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Bertrand Léon
CELLAR MASTER : Jean-Claude Neu
NAME : Côtes-de-Provence
VINEYARD AREA: 140 ha
VINEYARD MANAGEMENT: Sustainable agriculture
SOILS: Clay and limestone and sandy gravel
AVERAGE AGE OF THE VINEYARD: 35 years
RED VARIETIES: Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, Mourvèdre, Syrah
WHITE VARIETIES: Vermentino
HARVESTING : Manual
VINIFICATION : Barrel or stainless steel tank
the history of château d'esclans
The origins of Château d'Eclans dates back to the time of the Gauls, when it was used as a surveillance point to control intruders who entered the Gulf of Frejus by boat. The cellars, reputed to be the oldest in Provence, and the foundations of the castle, already existed when the Count of Provence ceded it to Gérard de Villeneuve in 1201. It is then in the middle of the XIXth century that the current castle of Esclans will be built, inspired by the Tuscan style.
Known as Terre d'Esclans, two brothers, Sauveur-Louis and François-Alexandre Ranque, became the owners of the castle. They sold the property in 1875 which passed through the hands of several owners. In 1994, the château was bought by a Swedish pension fund which produced small quantities of wine and sold the remaining grapes to the surrounding winegrowers.
In 2006, Chateau d'Esclans entered a new stage in its history. Sacha Lichine, former owner of Château Prieuré-Lichine, in Margaux, sold in 1999, was looking for a property, a southern vineyard. He acquired Château d'Esclans with the ambition of producing a top-of-the-line rosé. The property, gathering all the necessary assets, allowed Sacha Lichine to reach his objectives of producing a rosé wine full of finesse, freshness and luxury. It is thanks to him and several other properties that the notion of rosé wine evolved and became a worldwide trend. Sacha Lichine has succeeded in raising Chateau d'Esclans to the highest level through his work, the use of modern technology and high-level oenology. In fifteen years, Sacha Lichine has made the château a true star of Provence rosés, sold worldwide, 95% of which is mainly on the Anglo-Saxon market.
In 2019, Moët Hennessy, a subsidiary of the LVMH group, became a 55% shareholder alongside Sacha Lichine, who remains the director of the estate.
château d'esclans, the property
With its renowned cellars and beautiful Tuscan-style residence, the estate represents a sublime wine heritage. Its 140 hectares of vines form a varied terroir combining clay-limestone soils and sandy gravels to produce rich complex wines with a beautiful salinity. The sunny, dry and warm Mediterranean climate is perfect for these partly 80 year old vines. The grape varieties are typical of Provence with a majority of Grenache complemented by Cinsault, Rolle (vermentino), Tibouren, Merlot, Mourvèdre and Syrah.
château d'esclans, from the vineyard To the bottle
The harvest, at the end of August and the beginning of September, takes place from sunrise to midday in order to avoid the hottest hours of the day and to preserve the freshness. The grapes are selected, picked by hand and placed in small boxes of 10 kilos in order to avoid that the grapes are crushed.
The Caves d'Esclans cuvées: Whispering Angel and Rock Angels are made from mechanically harvested grapes.
Once in the cellar, the grapes are sorted manually, checked by optical eye, programmed to keep only the berries that correspond to the desired requirements. The berries are then passed through an exchanger that will allow the temperature to be lowered to 8°C. The pressing will allow to obtain three different types of juice: the juice of the heart of the drop, the heart of the press and the end of the press. After this step, the winemakers and oenologists determine which juices will be fermented in stainless steel tanks or aged in oak barrels.
A rare fact to note: for some rosés, the château blends white grape varieties with red grape varieties.
the cuvées of château d'esclans
RANGE OF ROSÉS FROM CHÂTEAU D'ESCLANS
This range has at the top of the cuvée Chateau d'Esclans, Garrus. This jewel of the château was, at the time of its release in 2006, the most expensive rosé wine in the world. Behind this high price, hides an economic reality with an important cost. This rare wine comes from old Grenache vines, some of which are almost 100 years old, which explains its low yield. Fermented in French oak demi-muid, it is a powerful and elegant wine. It is now considered an icon of luxury rosé and a wine of world renown.
The second prestigious cuvée is the rosé Les Clans. Made from vines over 50 years old and from parcels selected for their quality, it is fully fermented and aged in large oak barrels. This rosé is a perfect example of a gastronomic rosé. It stands out from other rosés by its ageing potential of up to 5 years. It is both rich and exotic, with body and elegance.
The third cuvée is Château d'Esclans, the wine of the property. This cuvée combines the different approaches used to elaborate the château's rosé, resulting in a unique blend of freshness and complexity. Refined and elegant, Château d'Esclans can be paired with a wide range of dishes and occasions, it is a gastronomic rosé.
RANGE OF ROSÉS FROM THE CAVES D'ESCLANS
The Whispering Angel cuvée, created in 2006 when Sacha Lichine acquired it, is the benchmark for Provence rosés in the world. With a beautiful aromatic intensity, a precise nose, it is a refreshing rosé wine with a dense and smooth texture offering a supple and mineral finish. It is accessible and enjoyable with a wide variety of dishes or simply as an aperitif.
The Rock Angel cuvée, fermented and aged in large oak barrels, immediately charms with its aromatic intensity. With a more complex and structured tasting profile, it brings a premium aspect to a richer wine. It is perfect for an aperitif or to accompany a quality meal.
The Palm by Whispering Angel is considered the "little sister" of Whispering Angel. Authentic rosé of Provence, it has a great aromatic freshness in the nose and subtle fruity notes in the mouth.