And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.
-The Book of Revelations Chapter 6 Verse 8
Good versus Evil. Heaven and Hell. Light and Dark. Angels and Demons. These are the age-old eternal struggles. And from these conflicts have stemmed rivalries, be it as grandiose as God versus Satan, one nation against another or sports team against sports team. Regardless of the greatness or how legendary a rivalry may be, we humans find them epic and are always fascinated by them and are delighted spectators.
Even in the world of art there are and have been rivalries; and we love our art scene here in Charleston. For example, did you know that Renaissance greats Raphael and Michelangelo were rivals? They may be portrayed as pizza-loving brothers in modern pop culture, but historically in real life the two were polar opposites and didn't get along so well. One of Raphael's most famous works is Madonna di San Sisto (Sistine Madonna). Even more famous than this piece though are the two cherubs at the bottom of the painting. Raphael's Angels are probably more recognizable on their own than the piece in its entirety. And then there is Michelangelo, who also had a piece within a piece. In his fresco, Il Giudizio Universale (The Last Judgement), the sculptor and painter portrays another rival, Biagio da Cesena who was the papal master of ceremonies, as Minos, the demon who stands at the entry Gates of Hell just as Saint Peter processes entry through the Pearly Gates.
So here we are, back to the rivalry of Angels and Demons
Most of us are familiar with the 2000 bestselling novel by Dan Brown Angels & Demons and its subsequent sequels (and of course the film adaptations of these starring Tom Hanks), and while we have enjoyed the books (the movies maybe not so much, even with Tom Hanks), the angels, demons and rivalries we'll be delving in to this week go a little bit deeper than the fun popcorn and fluff of those novels.
"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beastsAnd I looked, and behold a pale horseAnd his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him"
-Johnny Cash, The Man Comes Around
We begin with trumpets blaring and angels singing. And a rivalry, of sorts. Or maybe it's more like a side -by-each (you know we love those!) Master Provençal Rosé maker, Sacha Lichine, acquired the magical property Chateau d'Esclans in 2006. It was here that he created the one and only Whispering Angel Rosé. We're going to pit the Angel against The Pale. Making its debut with the 2020 vintage, The Pale is Sacha Lichine's latest Rosé project at Chateau d'Esclans. Rosé vs Rosé, both by the talented Sacha Lichine. Which is "better"? Which do you prefer? We'll leave that up to you!
After these two, we'll journey over to an antiquated property in Tuscany where the Frescobaldi family have been making wine since 1308. We'll be enjoying their Remole Sangiovese, which comes from the Villa di Remole in the heart of Tuscany. The wines of the Frescobaldi family have a storied history, but probably the coolest, or at least most notable, thing about them is that once upon a time they would trade their wine in exchange for paintings by none other Michelangelo himself!
"It's quoted in the bible, Revelations: Behold the pale horse. The man who sat on him was death, and Hell followed with him."
-Johnny Ringo, Tombstone
And finally we will find ourselves locked in a dungeon. Dark and gloomy, cold and damp, with unyielding stone walls and a pit at the center as if we were confined in the depths of Hell itself. Here we are held prisoner ala Edmond Dantès from The Count of Monte Cristo or the unnamed prisoner in Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum. Alright, it's not actually going to be nearly that bad. Quite the opposite in fact. Taking our place inside that cell will be The Prisoner, whom we will be freeing from the confines of his bottle. Created by Dave Phinney, The Prisoner is a dark and rich red blend from the Napa Valley and is a sensation with a devoted following both cult and mainstream alike. If this is going to be your first time trying it, get excited! And if you're already a loyal follower of The Prisoner, you know you're already excited to be able to get some more in your glass.
From the light shade of The Pale to the dark confines of The Prisoner and the ethereal plane in-between, where hosts of angels and legions of demons wage their eternal struggle, it's going to be one hell of as Tasting!
See you there!
The Wine Shop Team