But how is rosé Champagne made?
There are two methods; the first is rosé d’assemblage or blended Champagne and the second is rosé de saignée or macerated Champagne.
Region it’s produced: Champagne, France
Grapes Used: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir
The two methods: Rosé d’assemblage or blended pink Champagne and rosé de saignée or macerated pink Champagne
Typical flavors: Rosé Champagne offers more fruit intensity than it’s white counterpart, doling out red fruit flavors from delicate strawberry to rich cranberry.
For the first method, winemakers add up to 15% of still red Champagne wine, either Pinot Meunier or Pinot Noir, to the otherwise white wine.
The second method involves allowing grape musts to be in contact with the skins for just a few hours. The skins not only impart their color into the wine but some flavor and aromatics as well. This method often produces wine with a deep pink color and stronger flavor profiles.
So whether it’s a celebration or you’re excited that it’s finally the weekend grab a rosé Champagne. Here are some of our recommended finds.
Louis Roederer 2012 Cristal Brut Rosé (Champagne); $558, 97 points. Years in the making, this is the first fully biodynamic Cristal rosé. The very fine 2012 vintage is a good starting point for this new era. The Champagne is just right, beautifully rich and showing some maturity while also having tension and crispness from the golden-apple and spice flavors. The wine could be drunk now but its future is assured. Organic and biodynamic. Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. —Roger Voss
Charles Heidsieck 2005 Rosé Millésimé Brut (Champagne); $150, 96 points. Pale in color, but rich in texture and fruit, this wonderfully mature rosé is structured from 70% Pinot Noir in the blend. There is a nutty character to the wine that springs from the wine’s richness and the mellifluous aging of the red fruits. Drink this very fine Champagne now. Folio Fine Wine Partners. —R.V.
Gosset NV Brut Grand Rosé (Champagne); $83, 93 points. Heading towards dryness, this pale colored rosé Champagne is also rich. Its red-currant and crisp apple flavors are laced with citrus zest to give a wine that has fine balance. This bottling is ready to drink. Wilson Daniels Ltd. —R.V.
Philipponnat NV Royale Réserve Brut (Champagne); $67, 93 points. This producer’s nonvintage cuvée is just right. It is balanced, the ripe apple and pear flavors are laced with acidity and citrus are, giving minerality as well as structure from the 65% Pinot Noir in the blend. This Champagne is perfectly ready to drink. Banville Wine Merchants —R.V.
Vollereaux NV Brut Rosé de Saignée (Champagne); $55, 93 points. This is a delicately poised wine, with touches of structure from the Pinot Noir grape skins. It feels rich as well as fruity, showing weight as well as bright red fruits. Drink now. Palm Bay International. —R.V.
Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Rosé (Champagne); $85, 92 points. The palest of rosés, this is an elegant, structured wine. Its dryness is balanced by the fine apple and red-currant fruits and the strong sense of minerality. Fragrant and lightly structured, this fine bottling is ready to drink. Billecart Salmon USA. —R.V.
Henriot NV Rosé Brut (Champagne); $75, 92 points. An attractive red-fruit flavored Champagne with a balanced crisp textured, this bottling is just ready to go. Its fruitiness coupled with the soft texture from the dosage are packed with fruitiness and ripe acidity. Drink now. Maisons and Domaines Henriot. —R.V.
Lanson NV Le Rosé (Champagne); $70, 92 points. With a dosage veering towards dryness, this Champagne has freshness, red fruits and a liveliness that makes it immediately attractive. The acidity and the light tannic edge will let the bottling age, although, really, it is delicious now. Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits. —R.V.
Champagne Jeeper NV Grand Brut Rosé (Champagne); $79, 91 points. This beautifully crisp, pale-colored rosé Champagne has, like many wines from this producer, a predominance of Chardonnay in the blend. The freshness of the wine is just right, crisp with sliced apples and layers of acidity. Drink now. International Cellars. —R.V.
Devaux NV D Rosé Brut (Champagne); $80, 91 points. Ripe and full of red fruits, this attractive Champagne had five years aging before disgorgement. That has rounded the crisp fruit and filled out the texture. Acidity and fruitiness are equal partners giving a wine that is ready to drink. Seaview Imports. R.V.
Published: February 8, 2019