Caves d'Esclans is the brightest new star of the Cotes de Provence. Established in 2006 when Bordeaux-born Sacha Lichine bought the Chateau d'Esclans, this dynamic producer harnesses both the chateaugrown grapes and fruit from local growers to create a stunning range of highly sought-after wines. Patrick Leon, the former winemaker at MoutonRothschild, oversees production.
The grapes come from several top vineyards in the region of La Motte en Provence, with classic chalky-clay soils and southerly exposure. Harvesting only took place between sunrise and noon to avoid picking in the hottest part of the day.
The grapes were sorted three times, both electronically and manually, before destemming and a light crushing at 7-8C. The free-run and direct-pressed juice fractions were both vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats, and there was twice-weekly batonnage before bottling in the December following the harvest.