How is Rosé Champagne Made?

How is Rosé Champagne Made?

As Valentine's Day approaches, Champagne is back on all our minds, especially the pink kind. And what better than rosé Champagne to share with a significant other.

Pink Champagne tends to go under the radar, although it's the rosé that we've long been familiar with, long before our recent summer favourite Provence rosés. Yet, many don't realise that it's often made simply by mixing red and white wine!

Yes, you've heard that right, blending still red wine made from Pinot Noir is how Champagne usually gets its pink hue. While elsewhere, this is seen as an inferior way to make rosé, only Champagne is allowed to get away with it. The reason is the notoriously damp and challenging climate, a far cry from the sunny warmth of Provence. By blending white and red, Champagne makers have more control over their wine, ensuring that they produce a delicious rosé consistently each year. This traditional blending method makes a light, subtle rosé Champagne many of us love to drink.

Deutz is one of the oldest Grandes Marques Champagne houses with names like Ruinart and Bollinger. Their Brut Rosé is a terrific example of a traditional rosé with most of the base white wine made from Pinot Noir. Finished with three years of bottle ageing, this is a super layered and subtle rosé Champagne. An ultimate crowd-pleaser.

Despite being the most common way to make rosé Champagne, not all producers adhere to this method. Some are brave enough to go against the odds and produce 100% Pinot Noir rosé by macerating/infusing red grape skins with the grape juice for a few days. A riskier method, but with rewarding results. Making full-flavoured, fruity wines, where the bright raspberry, strawberry, and cranberry fruit burst in the palate, unlike the more subtle, traditional examples.

If you are curious to taste the difference, you are not alone! Macerated rosé Champagne has been a favourite of ours lately, too, and we're proud to stock two brilliant examples of it.

Charles Legend, named after King Charles II of England for his love of Champagne, is a producer from the sunniest part of Champagne. Hence, using very little added sugar in their wines. This enables them to make a 100% macerated Pinot Noir rosé Champagne that's packed with ripe berry flavours and even woody, sweet-spicy undertones. Easily one of the most complex rosé Champagne's we have ever tasted.

Drappier, another rooted producer from the sunny Pinot Noir central Côte des Bar, highlights Pinot Noir in most of their wines. Their macerated 100% Pinot Noir 'Rosé de Saignée' is a mouthful of pure strawberries, cherries with a generous length. It also spends just under three years ageing on its lees for toastiness - an absolute delight to sip on. Drappier's Champagnes are always very low in sulfites and added sugar. Another reason to choose this exceptional producer.

What to pair with these exceptional bubblies? We think they are so characterful that even red meat is not off the table. The most popular option is Beef Carpaccio, but Beef Wellington would also be a fitting pairing. Salty and flavourful shellfish like oysters and scallops also are fabulous choices that will unleash the full potential of these wines. We'd say your Valentine's Day bubbly is now all sorted.