Matthew Jukes Les Clans 2019 Review - "finest release of this celestial wine to date"
2019 Château d’Esclans, Les Clans Rosé, Provence, France (£44.95, www.finewinedirect.co.uk).
It is always such a joy to taste the new Esclans releases 2019 Les Clans is a masterclass in balance and poise. Château d’Esclans wrote the rulebook on crafting statuesque rosé wines and while all others have floundered around for a decade or more, over-oaking, over-macerating, over-blending and generally making all of the mistakes imaginable, this imperious property nailed the recipe first time around and has been fine-tuning ever since. The investment in winemaking equipment here would make both an accountant and a bank manager faint, but the vision and determination of owner Sacha Lichine have paid handsome dividends and more now that Whispering Angel is not a lone figure on the international circuit but a veritable heavenly chorus. It is clear to me, having tasted legions of 2019 rosés that this is a brilliant vintage and therefore great wines must be expected to step up. Les Clans is always built with exacting precision and so it is hard to imagine where improvements can be made! That said, I am of the mind that this is the finest release of this celestial wine to date and the superb silkiness is but one of its extraordinary attributes. Les Clans is sometimes guilty of being a little shy on the nose, but this 2019 is positively forward as it rushes from the glass to greet you. In terms of the balance, this is a full-framed wine but it seems effortlessly graceful, too. We have come to expect greatness from this label and this is what 2019 Les Clans dutifully rewards you with. While other estates strive to make wines with this level of gravitas most fall well short of the mark. Château d’Esclans will one day have true rivals, but for now, if you have the choice and also the budget to spend, then this is the wine that you will want in your glass.