Garrus, is like no rosé that I have ever tasted. Its light colour hints at the bone dry luscious texture with a mellow oaky fruitiness. MD suggested that I see if the hotel in Provence had a bottle, and as soon as I mentioned the name, the owner winked and said ‘your boyfriend knows what he’s doing’.
The history of Chateau D’Esclans goes back to the 13th Century, it was passed around wealthy families before being bought from a Swedish pension fund by Sacha Lichine, whose father owned Bordeaux heavyweight Château Prieuré-Lichine.
Lichine and Patrick Leon (wine maker for Mouton Rothschild as well as others) restored the chateau and introduced modern viniculture wine processes. Temperature is critical, once the ripe grapes are picked, de-stemmed, and sorted, they are then held in 10 kilo bins filled with dry ice pellets, before being stored in oak barrels fitted with a cooling system.
Garrus consists of a blend of the chateau’s famous old Grenache grapes and Rolle, produced with no maceration (a soaking process that extracts colour and flavour) and receives a twice weekly battonage (stir in the barrel). This ‘Burgundian’ style of winemaking produces a delicate wine that it is not over extracted or fruity, and displays more mineral notes.
The result is a pale, refreshing rosé that displays complex layers of graceful minerality, chalk and ash balanced with a creamy fragrance of summer fruits and a long finish. For me, it will always evoke memories of luxuriously lounging by the pool, basking in the dry heat of Provence sunshine.