Rosé champagne is enjoying increasing success and finds a superb expression in the new Comtes Rosé 2009 vintage.
Rosé champagne: a highly coveted wine
Although rosé champagne came into existence in 1764, it was another half-century before the first blended rosé was developed. Despite intermittent success, over time this wine with an intriguing robe gradually gained a foothold in the champagne landscape. Today it dominates the market behind non-vintage brut champagnes and now single-handedly represents 11% of exports (equivalent to 20 million bottles). Revered by purists, its pink bubbles are currently flying off the shelves in Japan, India, Germany and America.
The different types of rosé champagne
Synonymous with joy, elation and spontaneity, uncorking a bottle of rosé champagne is usually accompanied by an outpouring of enthusiasm. Within the appellation, its trade secrets are carefully – even jealously – guarded and are the product of intricate know-how.
Predominantly Champagne grapes, blended rosés are assembled with white wine and AOC red wine in a proportion generally ranging from 5 to 20%. This method is exclusive to Champagne, and the resultant cuvees are a perfect reflection of the region’s DNA. These pale-robed wines are light, full of energy and very fruity.
More vinous and racier, macerated or saignée rosés are developed from a delicate process that involves leaving the juices to macerate with black grape skins (Pinot Noir and Meunier) for several hours until the desired colour is obtained
As so much depends on the terroir from which the grapes originate, the style sought by its creator, the chosen production method and the final dosage, rosé champagnes rarely unfold in the same way.
What accompaniment with rosé champagne?
Lively and intense, this seductive wine exudes the scent of sunny days and while one can easily imagine it complementing a bowl of strawberries or a macaroon, it may surprise you at any time of year when served as an accompaniment to a crayfish salad or even as an aperitif alongside a refined charcuterie board.
In terms of tasting, rosé champagnes deliver highly expressive aromas. On the nose, notes of forest fruit, raspberry, stone fruit and pomegranate can generally appear. The texture is creamy, almost silky in terms of mouthfeel. On the palate, the effervescence is lively and spirited… Developing a rosé champagne is a real craft, akin to the work of a goldsmith.
The Comtes de Champagne Rosé 2009 cuvee embodies these incredibly high demands placed on the producer
This fine-looking vintage is more than a match for its predecessors. The great wine’s grandeur comes from the origin of its grapes and the perfect mastery of its blend. The Comtes de Champagne Rosé 2009 is comprised of 30% Chardonnay Grands Crus from the most prestigious Côte des Blancs terroirs, combined with 70% Pinot Noir sourced from the Montagne de Reims Grands Crus. The blend is enhanced with 12% red wine from Bouzy Pinots, whose somewhat long pre-fermentation maceration ensures a superb tannic structure with fruit-forward aromas of red and black berries.
A 10-year stay in the heart of the Saint-Nicaise chalk cellars dating from Gallo-Roman times has led to the creation of a perfectly blended and accomplished champagne. Thanks to this tribute to time, the sensory experience is well and truly present. The inside of the glass sets the scene for a harmonious and hypnotic waltz. The bubbles are graceful, while the robe, adorned with subtle amber hues, is elegant and the perfume intoxicating.
The aromatic structure is clean, precise and gourmand. It delivers notes of ripe red fruit, Morello cherry, blood orange and vineyard peach. This mineral side gives way to more gourmand notes of wild strawberry compote and candied citrus fruit.
There is room for emotion at the table. This gourmet champagne will enhance delicate dishes like grilled lobster or roasted chicken breast from the Champagne region with a verbena garnish. It will also pair beautifully with strong cheeses such as an old Comté or Chaource and will astonish alongside a dessert, matched with the tangy sweetness of baked pears.