Home > France, Provence, Rosé > One on One with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, The Winemakers

One on One with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, The Winemakers

Do you really think I managed to get face time with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt? Or at least a Skype interview? A phone call? Yeah, none of the above, you are correct. But – as it was announced a while back, they joined the ranks of celebrity winemakers with the release of their first wine from Château Miraval, a property in Provence, which they acquired a few years ago – and considering that they both participated in the tasting and selection of the final blend, I think the title of this post stands as appropriate. Well, yes, they didn’t make the wine all by themselves – they got some serious help by partnering with Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, so the wine officially lists Jolie-Pitt & Perrin on the back label.

DSC_0589 Miraval

Miraval Rosé

Before we will talk about the wine, I want to mention that Château Miraval has very interesting history – in the 1970s, it belonged to the famous jazz musician Jacques Loussier, who converted the chateau into the recording studio. Many famous musicians, such as Pink Floyd, Sting and others, used that studio to produce their albums.

Now, let’s get to the wines. While celebrity status of winemakers is nice, in the end of the day, I care about content of my glass. So in this particular case, I wanted to have some frame of reference – of course in the form of another wine. As Miraval Rosé comes from Provence, I wanted to compare it with another Provence Rosé. Looking at the wide range of Rosé available, my eyes stopped at the label. Whispering Angel. I think I heard it somewhere. And it is from Provence. Problem solved – I got my second Rosé, and the battle (okay, it is only two, so let’s call it a mini-battle) of Rosé was set.

Then I found out that I have chosen well. It appears that Whispering Angel Rosé was a hit of 2012, and it was literally impossible to get it last year. Thus it was very interesting to see how the two will fare, and how the arrival of the Miraval might affect the cult status of the Whispering Angel.

Whispering Angel and Miraval side by side

Whispering Angel and Miraval side by side

Now, before we get on to the wines themselves (didn’t I say it already? yes I did, sorry for the interruption once again, but please read on), I need to let out a little rant. When I visit a winery’s web site, I’m doing it because I’m looking for information. Information for me includes history of people, story of the winemaker, information about vineyards, but most importantly, I want to know about the particular wine made at that winery. I want to know what grapes went into the wine, how the wine was made, what winemaker thinks about wine, and so on. Anything and everything which winery is willing to share about the wine, I’m willing to read, but (ahh, my finger is dancing above the Caps Lock key – I’m not going to press it only because I really respect you, my readers, but read rest of this sentence in the loud voice) – I’m not looking to read four praising quotes from the different sources and none, zero, nada, zilch of any actual information about the wine. The wine I’m talking about here  – Whispering Angle. 4 quotes on the web site – and no wine information to be found anywhere. Yes, some of those quotes are wine tasting notes from the critics – but you don’t even know what vintage is being described. Yes, I do find it very annoying. End of the rant.

Now, let’s [finally] get to the wines. Here are the two wines side by side:

Whispering Angel and Miraval, now in the glass

Whispering Angel and Miraval, now in the glass

2012 Whispering Angel Rosé Caves D’Esclans Côtes de Provence AOC ($17.99, 13.5% ABV) – supposedly a blend of Grenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvedre – the reason I say “supposedly” is because I didn’t find this information at winemaker’s web site or the back label – see the rant above.

Literally non-existent color in the glass. Pretty intense nose, more on the sweet side, with some tropical fruit (uncommon for Rose?). On the nose, it is more white wine than a red wine. Opens with the degree of sweetness on the palate, but as wine warms up, the sweetness disappears. After the wine opened up a bit, the palate is almost insignificant – there no traditional strawberries and onion peel. The wine is pleasant, but behaves more as indistinct white. Drinkability: 7

2012 Miraval Rosé Côtes de Provence AOC ($21.99, 13%ABV) – a blend of Cinsalt, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle. Syrah was vinified by saignée (bleeding, the pink juice is collected separately instead of leaving the juice in contact with skin for the short period of time), and the other varieties were direct pressed. 5% of the cuvee was aged in the oak casks.

Here are the tasting notes: Nice rose color, more intensity that the previous wine. Some strawberries on the nose, no sweetness. Nice density on the palate, more strawberries, very round but with the character. Drinkability: 7+

Time to conclude our small Rosé competition. I would give a small edge to Miraval, it was a bit more interesting. Miraval Rosé was good, but – it was not a wow wine I can’t live without. In that price range ($20+) there are plenty of interesting Rosé, lots of options are available to the curious palate in need of refreshing sip – in other words, I don’t think I will be specifically rushing over to the store to pick up whatever supply is left for either one of these Rosé.

Before we done here (I know, I keep testing your patience), I want to mention an excellent Rosé post by The Armchair Sommelier (I hope you discovered and follow her blog already, if not – fix that problem immediately). One of the dishes in that blog post looked so good and simple – Grilled Avocado with melted cheese – that I asked for the recipe (very easy – take avocado, make some holes with the fork, smother with the hot sauce, cover with cheese and broil for 5 minutes). I made it to accompany my Rosé and the dish came out perfectly and was very enjoyable, especially with the wine.

Grilled Avocado with melted cheese

Grilled Avocado with melted cheese

Now it is the time to conclude for real. Until the next time – cheers!

  1. May 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I’m so glad you got a chance to try the grilled avocado . . . and that you loved it paired with Rosé as much as I did. Salud!! :o)

  2. May 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    AND thanks for the shout out! :o) I’ve been curious about the Brangelina Rosé. I suspect Pitt-Jolie stands in the shadow of Perrin in the actual making of the wine . . . but they will no doubt sell a TON of the stuff!!

    • talkavino
      May 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      My pleasure! Yes, I think the wine will sell pretty well. It is definitely pleasant, but doesn’t worth the extra $10 you need to shell out just for the name…

  3. May 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    20+ is a bit steep for a Rose; I’ve seen many that I’ve really enjoyed in the $10-16 range. Those avocados sound fantastic! I’m going to have to try those next time I open a Rose! Now if only this rain would stop…

    • talkavino
      May 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      sorry about the rain, we just had our first sunny day in a while… Yes, I agree with you – there are plenty of Rose at around $15 …

  4. May 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Great post! I’ve been curious about the Miravel, but haven’t, yet tried it. Sounds like I won’t need to. Thanks. And on your rant, I agree with you 100%.

    • talkavino
      May 27, 2013 at 11:36 pm

      Thanks! The Miraval is okay, but not earth shuttering by all means, so you will not lose much if you will not try it.

  5. PSsquared
    May 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Yet another reminder of how sad it is to be allergic to avocado. 😉 I don’t begrudge those who can enjoy it. So, please have some for me. As for the rosé, my husband thinks it’s the same as white zin and refuses to drink any of it. Since I really only like reds, I don’t worry too much about it. I’m glad you didn’t rave over either one, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on that. Cheers, friend!

    • talkavino
      May 27, 2013 at 11:40 pm

      ouch, avocado allergy? Sorry to hear about it…
      Interestingly enough, absolute majority of the wine in the Rose category, has nothing in common with white zin – they are typically dry wine, and they are very pleasant to drink on a hot day. You should really see if you can convince your husband to try one. May be start from Tavel – it is a region, so any producer will do, just to try it. Cheers!

      • PSsquared
        May 27, 2013 at 11:50 pm

        Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll get something from Tavel and he’ll probably try it if it’s in the house. Especially if pour it when he’s out by the pool. 🙂

  6. May 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Thanks for the rose post and discussion. Love this stuff and many in this category are a bit nondescript. The rant is understood and acknowledged. Why don’t wineries get it? Tell us the story of your wines.

    • talkavino
      May 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Yes, the story is what we want to hear, plus a bit of the details, which can be even hidden in a separate file, as many wineries do it – but you have the info, it shouldn’t be difficult to share it…

  7. May 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    Hopefully doing a rosé tasting this weekend. Thanks for the catalyst!

    • talkavino
      May 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      glad to serve as a catalyst! : )

  8. May 28, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I love Rose and will have try that yummy avocado recipe with my next bottle 🙂

    • talkavino
      May 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      Grilled avocado and Rose worked together very well – hope you will like it too!

  9. May 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Thanks for writing about the Pitt-Jolie collaboration. We just got it in our store and it is selling very well [we are the exclusive South Florida source for the next 2 months]. Whispering Angel is also quite popular here mostly with customers her prefer a sweeter Rose’.
    Lastly thank you for the great recipe! It looks like a MUST try and I cannot wait!
    Regards.

    • talkavino
      May 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      I’m sure both Miraval and Whispering Angel will sell very well – but I really would love to know one thing: how many people will come back for those wines specifically after they tried them the first time? This would be really interesting stats – if you have such data, I would love to know.

  10. May 28, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Winery websites are in serious need of an overhaul. I wonder if the cause (aside from laziness) is that there are simply too many “brand” wines that really don’t have a sell-able story (“um…we bought this cheap wine in bulk that wasn’t selling and stuck a new label on it”). You’re brave for dipping into the celebrity punch bowl!

    • talkavino
      May 29, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Well, in this particular case, Whispering Angel has a web site with very elaborate (and annoying) design and it has some story – but no useful information whatsoever…

  11. May 29, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Very nice “rose face off”, Anatoli! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, and I also find it irritating when you go to a producer’s website to learn more about their wines only to find no useful information at all! On the contrary, I really appreciate those producers who make available the technical sheets for all their wines. Now, that’s useful!

    • talkavino
      May 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks, Stefano! And yes, I’m not asking to dedicate pages and pages on the web site to all the technical details about wine. But one link to the file with more information for those who wants to know more – should that be that hard to produce?

  12. Guillaume Belliard
    August 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Hello, you will find these infos in the resources section of the website… http://www.cavesdesclans.com/medias/2012/sheet-whispering-2012.pdf
    Cheers

    • talkavino
      August 26, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Thanks for the comment!

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