With rosé in 2014 accounting for 8.4 percent of total champagne shipments – a number that has been steadily growing for the last 10 years – it seems we love our rosé in the UK. Consumers have been drinking more pink champagne this century than at any other time in history and so we turn the spotlight onto how it’s made and what to look for in your rosé. We take the view that a rosé is best when there are distinct red fruit characteristics and not just colour, since many are barely pink and taste like “white” champagnes. We have picked a small range of rosé’s that have enough of that character from the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes to make them distinctly different to their blanc siblings.
Laurent-Perrier is an exception in rosé champagne production, since they make their rosé by fermenting the Pinot grapes with the juice. The Pinot Noir grapes are destemmed and hand sorted and the berries are then macerated for 12-72 hours, depending on fruit ripeness, until the colour is fixed and the aroma resembles freshly picked raspberries. The timing is so crucial, legend has it that the first Chef de Cave, Edouard Leclerc, slept by the tank to stop it just in time! Some years, a portion of the juice is drawn off during the first 24 hours using the “saignée method” to further concentrate colour. The final blend is predominantly one vintage with a small amount of reserve wines, matured in bottle on the lees for four years before discouragement and LP believe in then bringing it quickly to market after a three month rest.
Other Rosé Champagnes we list: