Wednesday Wines – Episode 142 – First Taste of 2022 Whispering Angel Rosé
2022 Whispering Angel Rosé, Caves d’Esclans, Sacha Lichine, Côtes de Provence, France (approx. £20.00, on sale from February)
There are precious few annual wine ‘moments’ left in our beautiful business. Beaujolais Nouveau day is an actual annual event with its very own date. The third Thursday of November has always been the day this wine goes on sale, and a couple of brave stalwarts continue raising a glass.
It might be clinging on by its fingernails, but it has more integrity than the multiple grape variety ‘days’ that have faked their way into existence. The annual Penfolds Collection launch yoyos around the calendar, and even Bordeaux’s En Primeur circus tries, but usually fails, to hit the same week each year. Still, one day that has become a fixture in my diary is the new release of Whispering Angel – without fail my sample arrives on the 9th January each year!
As you will be well aware, this Pink Titan sells like hotcakes, and in vintages gone by, it has been released on strict allocation such is the demand. Of course, production has increased significantly to slake the world’s elite rosé palate, but there seems to be no end in sight for the desire that committed rosé drinkers have for this pioneering wine.
I have faith that the quality of the wine will not dip, lag or wallow and in past vintages, even with an ever-increasing order book, the flair and deliciousness have actually increased!
So with the world waiting with an ice bucket and glass in hand, how good is the first taste of 2022 Whispering Angel?
I am relieved to report that the unbroken run of excellence is still intact, but there is more. This is the first vintage of Whippy that actually seems actively youthful and taut. While it normally hits the ground running, with pliable fruit and welcoming freshness, this crisp, expressive wine is firm, tense, energetic, and utterly ravishing. The rose petal nose, melon flesh silkiness, and grapefruit acidity are all in place, and they are layered, glisteningly attractive, and immediately impressive, but this 2022 vintage is different from previous vintages because it nips in on the finish promising more drama as it relaxes and billows over the next six months.
So, take it from me, that while this is already a cracker, I know that come May, right on cue, it will have even more glamour and allure on the nose, palate, and finish!
This is the very first time I have added a ‘+’ to my score below because this is the symbol I use, across all of my wine writing, to indicate that a wine will improve and evolve with age! Who would have thought that Whispering Angel would be such a wine? 18+/20