A sublime rosé from a legendary winemaker

2018 Whispering Angel

2018 Whispering Angel, Sacha Lichine, Caves d’Esclans, Côtes de Provence, France

£132 per case of bottles (12 x 75cl); £138 per case of magnums (6 x 150cl); £64 each double magnum (3L); £160 each imperial (6L); £300 each salmanazar (9L). Prices are all quoted “in bond”, so duty and VAT will be added prior to delivery, which will be made in March 2019. From Vineyards Direct, FromVineyardsDirect.com, 020-7549 7900.

I have written up every single vintage of this game-changing rosé and two years ago I featured the 2016 vintage on this very page, announcing an “en primeur” opportunity to secure your stock before it arrived in the UK. This method of ordering is particularly important for those of you who adore large formats.

As we ease into January, the 2018 vintage of this elite rosé is about to be bottled and shipped and it is a thriller. Sadly, this is the last vintage over which the great Patrick Léon presided, as he passed away in December. Patrick’s winemaking reputation was immense and I can tell you that he was one of the most fascinating, modest and engaging people I have ever met in the business.

With Château Lascombes, Château Mouton Rothschild, Opus One and Almaviva in his back catalogue, he certainly knew how to make legendary wine. In addition, Patrick helped family friend Sacha Lichine, owner of Château d’Esclans, to make the greatest rosés in the world. He will be dearly missed and his final vintage will be particularly savoured by all who knew him.

This is a sublime vintage for Whispering Angel, building on its magical reputation by adding an otherworldly texture to the already ravishing perfume and taste. The flavour is the embodiment of its name as never before.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).