So it's been a bit quiet here on my Blog (sorry), due to the pandemic and a lingering, severe lack of inspiration. Let's change that. The spark is back due to fun work tastings, wine travels and finally- a generally packed schedule. I have tried SO many nice wines and gained loads of new impressions lately due to this and hence, have much to say yet again (or rather, to write).
It is always season for pink Champagne in my book. Always. Or be it lovely Franciacorta, focused British bubbles, charming Alta Langa, food oriented Cava, juicy, sun ripe South African MCC or other serious sparkling wines for that matter. There is, namely, a lot to choose from and I do my best to try most. "Tough job.." and all of that...
Anything that sparkles but especially colorful bottles that carries an inviting, pinkish hue triggers my interest a tad extra. I would like to share some of my best gems in the undoubtedly pretty reliable rosé Champagne category. This must be one of the best segments, no? It is at least one I really love and always come back to, and a recent tasting really confirmed that this is artisan wines well worth exploring even more.
We tried some pink Champagnes that I was well familiar with, but also some "new" darlings that impressed me and that I also want to recommend.
Perhaps, generally speaking, we tend to indulge more in adorable glittering bottles in the summertime. Up here in Sweden and the cold and dark North this means, if we are lucky, June, Juli and August. Sometimes however we don't catch much sunlight even then. Therefore, when the sun shines the reasoning is without question that this big event (lol) calls for sparkling wine, often more specifically the rosé kind.
Personally, I don't limit myself to seasons when it comes to sparkling wine and particularly Champagne. It is a wine for around the year, for all moments, not least to match with food. Champagne is a culinary wine and works extremely well with most dishes.
All my recommendations today are dry wines, a plus in food pairing. The complicated, tedious and expensive method of a second fermentation in the bottle and long aging on the lees results in complex wines with bready, nutty or roasted aromas well fitted for many courses.
(Coincidentally, small batches of demi-sec Champagne are sometimes produced. These rarities are fabulous in the company of cheese and not too sweet desserts.)
Due to acidity, fruit concentration, complexity, mineral notes and toasty, yeasty or bready elements, these wines offers a broad spectrum and are excellent companions to food. These are culinary wines and they shine brighter in the company of for example mild cheeses, seafood, fish, blanco pizza, cold cuts and much more. Just try!
Below some of my absolute favorites, and also the line-up at the most recent rosé Champagne tasting. All wines performed very well and it was absolutely divine to compare seven different rosé champagnes. The style and personality are very different due to method and house style.
• Blending/Assemblage/Taché= This method is only allowed in Champagne for making rosé wine. You simply blend red wine, from grapes grown and allowed in the region, with the white.
• Bleeding/Saignée= The winemaker "bleeds" off a bit of wine with the desired nuance/color (it is given to the wine from the contact with the skins of the dark grapes) during the process of making a red wine. So in short, the main goal here is making red wine and the rosé wine a side-product. Beeing that Champagne is a region mostly producing white wine, the term is often miss-used.
• Maceration= The skins of the dark grape/grapes are left in the light grape must for a short period of time to extract the pink color.
The different methods and how the producer apply them gives rosé Champagne that ranges from light, elegant and slender to dark, bold and beautiful! The wines I have tried, and strongly recommend you try, appear in no particular order: