Category Archives: Rose Champagne

Rose Champagne with Champagne Ed

Champagne Ed Mc Carthy was at it again talking about his favorite topic, Champagne. This time it was Rosè Champagne for the New York Wine Press at The Brasserie, NYC.IMG_6771

Ed said that Rosè Champagne has a long history. Clicquot was already making a Rosè Champagne in 1777.

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Ed Mc Carthy

Less than 6% of the Champagne made today is Rosè but 15% of the Champagne sold in the U.S. is Rosè. Most Champagne firms today produce at least one Rosè. Many produce two, a non-vintage or vintage and a prestige cuvee, usually vintage

 

Ed explained there are two ways to make Rosè Champagne.  For the traditional method, a small amount, about 10 to 15%, of still or regular Pinot Noir is added to the cuvée before the second fermentation.  The other method involves skin contact (maceration). The skins of black grapes are pressed slightly and left in contact with the juice to soak or steep until the desired color is achieved.  This method is more difficult because the same color must be achieved year after year. Even though the second method seems to be the “purer” one, Ed said in blind tastings no one is ever able to tell the difference in quality between the two methods. Ed added that Rose Champagne is more expensive than traditional Champagne because of the process.

Tasting Rose Champagne

Tasting Rose Champagne

Rosé is a little more full bodied than other Champagnes because of the addition of Pinot Noir and therefore it goes well with food.  Ed added that rose champagnes are usually the best Champagnes to have with dinner, even with meat. These are dry wines and should not be drunk with dessert.

The Executive Chef of The Brasserie, Bradley Stelling prepared different dishes to go with each of the four flights of wine. He was on the mark every time!

Hors d’ Oeuvres: Hamachi Crudo, Grapefruit Vinaigrette and Pomegrante, Black Truffle Arancini.IMG_6757

Marion-Bosser Rosé Brut 1st Cru NV made from 55% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Noir still wine. This is one of the few biodynamic houses in Champagne. The winery is on the right bank of the Great Valley of the Marne, against the peaks of the Montagne de Remis. The vineyards are all Premier Cru. The soil is chalk beleminter from the Mesozic era. The wine spends three years on the lees. Ed said this was a delicate and elegant Champagne $55IMG_6754

Ruinart Brut Rosé NV in Magnum made from 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards. About 18% of the Pinot Noir added is still wine. Ed said that the House was founded in 1729 and began shipping Rose Champagne in 1764. It is a light, delicate and elegant Champagne. $100 IMG_6756

Lanson Rosé Label Brut Rosé NV in Magnum Composed of 53 percent Pinor Noir, 32 percent Chardonnay and 15 percent Pinot Meunier from more than 50 different vineyards. The Brut Rosé’s rose-colored label highlights the contents of this non-vintage bottling. It has rose petal aromas and flavors of tart strawberry and red currant. The wine is full-bodied and well structured. Ed said they use the best Pinot Noir for their Rosé $110

 

Lunch

Seared Foie, Braised Pear and Blood Orange GastriqueIMG_6759

G.H. Mumm “Le Rosé” Brut NV  A selection 12% to 14% of red wines from the villages famed for their Pinot Noir such as Bouzy, Verzenay or Riceys on the Cote des Bar.  Once the balance is achieved by the addition of reserve wines, the final blend is determined by the addition of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with the addition of Pinot Meunier. Ed said he was very impressed by this wine. $50 IMG_6760

Henriot Brut Rosé NV The majority of the wine is Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims and Chardonnay from the Cotes de Blancs and some Pinot Meunier. 15 crus are blended together and 25% is reserve wine. Vinified Pinot Noir as a red wine is added to the assemblage. Every time Ed speaks about Henriot he says the same thing — that it is a Champagne house that is underrated. Ed said it is light and elegant with good red fruit aromas and flavors but needed more time. $55IMG_6761

Laurent-Perrier “Cuvèe Rosé” Brut NV 100% Pinot Noir. It is a blend of ten different Grand Cru villages situated mainly in the south and north areas of the Montagne de Reims, including Cote Bouze, from the finest crus of Ambonnay, Bouzy, Louvis and Tours Sur-Maine. The grapes are sorted and destemmed before going in the vats. It is made by the skin contact method, which is rare in Champagne. Controlled maceration lasts from 48 to 72 hours depending on the vintage. It is aged in the cellars for at least 4 years before release. The first vintage was 1968. Ed liked this wine and said it went very well with the food. $ 65

Almond Butter Poached Lobster and Chanterelles

Pascal Doquet Rosé Brut 1st Cru NV made from 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir. The domain is located in Vertus near Avis and the 8.66 hectares include parcels in some of the best Grand and Premire Crus in the Côte de Blancs. The yields are 30% lower than the maximum allowed by Champagne. Harvest is by hand. Only indigenous yeast is used. Organic farming is practiced. This is one of my favorites and Ed said he liked the style because it is based on Chardonnay. $55IMG_6758

Charles Heidsieck “Rosé Reserve” Brut NV made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  They purchase grapes from about 120 of the 323 crus, which make up the Champagne appellation each year to blend their Champagne. The wine is aged for a minimum of three years. They have only been making Rosé for a few years. Ed called this a great champagne and thinks they should get more recognition.  $65IMG_6762

Gosset “Grand Rosé” Brut NV Made from 58% Chardonnay 35% Pinot Noir and 7% red wine from Ambonnay and Bouzy. The grapes come from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards.  It is a blend of 3 different harvests, including 10% reserve wine. The wine spends an average of four years resting on the lees before release. It has delicate and elegant with hints of raspberry and strawberry. $75

Ed said that they are making excellent Rosè Champagne for the last 30 years and deserve to be better known.

Beef Wellington, Roasted Root Vegetables, Cream of MorelsIMG_6763

Pol Roger “ Extra Cuvèe De Reserve” Brut 2006 is based on their Brut Vintage, 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Before bottling and second fermentation about 15% still red wine (Pinot Noir) from the best crus of the Montagne de Remis is added. Dosage 9g/L. The wine is aged 7 years in the cellar before release. The wine has citrus aromas and flavors with hints of blood oranges and red fruit berries. $110IMG_6764

Louis Roederer Rosé Brut 2008 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. 20% of the wine is matured in oak barrels with weekly batonnage. There is no malolactic fermentation. The sangée method is used following skin contact, which lasts 5 to 8 days in the liquid phase. The wine ages for an average of 4 years in the cellar and another 6 months resting after disgorging to complete its maturity. Dosage varies between 8 to 10 g/l depending on the vintage. There are citrus aromas and hints of strawberry and peach in the wine. There was also a toasty spice aroma, which reminded me of gingerbread, and Ed said it was that it was typical of the Roederer Rose. Ed said this might be the best buy of the tasting.  $75

Perrier-Jouet “ Belle Epoque” Rosé Brut 2008. After vinification the wine is preserved separately, cru by cru, until blending. Chardonnay from the Grand Crus Cramant and Avize dominate the blend. The Pinot Noir comes from the Grand Crus Marlly and Verze. Still red wine makes up 9% of the blend. The wine is aged for 6 years before release.  This is the most expensive wine and in Ed’s opinion may be worth the money. It is an elegant full-bodied wine with great fruit and hints of strawberries and raspberries and a lot more going on. $275IMG_6768

Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Rosé Brut 2005  The Comtes Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir from Grand Cru grapes and produced only in exceptional years. The Chardonnay grapes come from the most renowned vineyards of the prestigious Côte des Blancs, and the Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims. Only juice from the first pressing is used in order to ensure the structure and long aging potential that is so essential to this exceptional Champagne. 12% of the Pinot Noir is blended in as still red wine. This is elegant and complex Champagne with hints of strawberry, cherry, currants and a touch of roasted almonds. $200

Note – Picture of Ed Mc Carthy and the Taster courtsey of Cynthia sin- yi cheng

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Filed under Champagne, Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve Brut, G.H. Mumm Le Rose Brut, Gosset, Grosset Grand Rose Brut, Henriot, Henriot Brut Rose, Lanson Brut Rose, Laurent- Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut, Louis Roederer Rose Brut 2008, Marion-Bosser Rose Brut, Pascal Doquet Rose Brut, Perrier- Jouet Belle Epoque Rose Brut, Pol Roger Rose Brut, Rose Champagne, Ruinart Brut Rose, Taittinger Comtes De Champagne Rose Brut

Everything is Coming Up Rosé

The only thing Ed Mc Carthy likes better than talking about Champagne is drinking Champagne.  At a tasting he organized for the Wine Media Guild at Felidia Restaurant, he was able to do both. This annual event is the Wine Media Guild’s most popular and it is always overbooked.  Ed assembled 15 Rose Champagnes, 10 NV and 5 Vintage.  Fortunato Nicotra, the chef at Felidia, organized a complementary menu.  The highlight was an enormous salmon that the chef sliced and served in the dining room.  It was a perfect match with the Champagne.
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Ed said that Rosè Champagne is “in” right now even though it is more expensive.  A few years ago some Champagne houses did not make Rosé Champagne and it was only 4% of the total Champagne production.  It is now 8% of total production and has not slumped in the last 10 years.

He said that Rosé is a little more full bodied because of the addition of Pinot Noir and that it goes well with food.  He added that rose champagnes are usually the best Champagnes to have with dinner, even with meat. These are dry wines and should not be drunk with dessert.

Ed loves all types of Champagne but when asked which style was his favorite his answer was Blanc de Blancs because he believes the best chardonnay grapes in the world come from Champagne.  He said the greatest vintages are 1964,1988.1996 and 2002

When asked what were his most memorable champagnes his answer was Krug 1928 and 1975.IMG_2528

Ed explained there are two ways to make Rosè Champagne.  For the traditional method, a small amount, about 10 to 15%, of still or regular Pinot Noir is added to the cuvée before the second fermentation.  The other method involves skin contact (maceration). The skins of black grapes are pressed slightly and left in contact with the juice to soak or steep until the desired color is archived.  This method is more difficult because the same color must be achieved year after year.

Ed and his wife, Mary Ewing-Mulligan, are the authors of the popular Wine for Dummies series and Ed is the author of Champagne for Dummies.

The 10 NV Champagnes:IMG_2460
Bruno Paillard Brut Rosè Premier Cuvèe NV  this Rosé is produced from first pressing only. Pinot Noir about 85% and 15% Chardonnay. The Pinot Noir is pressed rapidly to obtain a clear white wine, which is then blended with the juice of some Pinot Noir vinified as a light red by leaving the skins on the juice. The dosage is very low to produce an authentic brut wine.  Rosé Première Cuvée is in a clear bottle. $70

Ed said it was an extra Brut. The wine was very fruity with strawberry and raspberry flavors and aromas and a hint of citrus. Ed liked this wine better than I did and said it was subtle and delicate and needed more time to develop. Later I tasted it with food and liked it much better. IMG_2462
Ayala Brut Rosè NV Made from 53% Chardonnay and 47% Pinot Noir and 8% of the Pinot Noir is still wine from old vines. It is a blend of premier and grand crus with a 98% rating on the “echelle des crus” scale. There is no dosage. Ed liked this wine because it was very dry and considered it a very good buy at $50. I agree with Ed and it is also a very good food wine. He also said that Bollinger now owns Ayala but the style is completely different. $52IMG_2463

Henriot Brut Rosé NV  $60 The majority of the wine is Pinot Noir the Montagne dr Reims and Chardonnay from the Cotes de Blances and some Pinot Meuniuer, 15 crus are blended together and 25% is reserve wine. Vinified Pinot Noir as a red wine is added to the assemblage. Ed said it was light and elegant but it is not a well known house.IMG_2470

G.H. Mumm Brut Rosè NV $70 A selection 12% to 14% of red wines from the villages famed for their Pinot Noir such as Bouzy, Verzenay or Riceys on the Cote des Bar.  Once the balance is achieved by the addition of reserve wines, the final blend is determined by the addition of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with the addition of Pinot Meunier. Ed said he was very impressed by this wine.IMG_2478

Laurent-Perrier Cuvèe Brut Rosé NV 100% Pinot Noir It is a blend of ten different crus (villages) situated mainly in the south and north areas of the Montagne de Reims, including Cote Bouze, from the finest crus of Ambonnay, Bouzy, Louvis and Tours Sur-Maine. The grapes are sorted and destemmed before going in the vats. Controlled maceration lasts from 48 to 72 hours depending on the vintage. It is aged in the cellars for at least 4 years before release. The first vintage was 1968.

Ed said they use the skin contact method and that they specialize in Rosé Champagne. Subtle and fresh with nice red fruit aromas and flavors with hints of strawberries, raspberries and cherry. $75 IMG_2464

Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosè NV The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir come from the Montagne and Les Ricyes.  Most of the grapes are pressed in vineyard press houses. In the winery the must undergoes cool temperature fermentation. 85% of the blend is vinified as white wine and the remainder as red. A small portion of still Pinot Noir from Ambonnay, Bouzy and Riceys is added. The final cuvee is blended from an extensive range of at least 15 diverse crus. After the second fermentation in the bottle, the wine spends three years on the lees also in the bottle. It is a crisp; complex full bodied fruity wine with hints of strawberry, raspberry and cherry. Ed said he was very impressed with this wine and so was I. It is a good buy at $60

Alfred Gratien Brut Rosè NV  made from 45% Chardonnay 40% Pinot Meunier  and 15% Pinot Noir added as a still wine. After 6 months of cellaring in 228 liter oak casks, the must is transformed into wine. Malolactic fermentation does not take place. The cuvee is bottled with sugar and yeast to allow for a secondary fermentation in the bottle and it remains in the cellar for 36 months. Then the disgorging takes place where the lees and sediment are removed from the bottle. The bottle is then topped up again with more wine and some sugar and left to rest for a few more months in the cellar.  It has good red fruit with hints of raspberry and I enjoyed it with lunch.   $70 IMG_2477
Gosset Brut Rosé NV 58% Chardonnay 35% Pinot Noir and 7% red wine from Ambonnay and Bouzy. The grapes come from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards.  It is a blend of 3 different harvests, including 10% reserve wine. The wine spends an average of four years resting on the lees before release.  $75IMG_2466
Charles Heidsieck Brut Rosé Reserve NV made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  They purchase grapes from about 120 of the 323 crus which make up the Champagne appelation each year to blend their Champagne. The wine is aged for a minimum of three years. They have only been making Rosé for a few years.    $65IMG_2465Bollinger Brut Rosè NV 62% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay, 4% Pinot Meunier. There is an addition of 5% red wine and 85% of the grapes come from Grand Cru and Premiers Cru vineyards. The wine is aged for more than twice the time required by the appellation.  This wine had more body, Ed said, because of the percentage of Pinot Noir. It has aromas and flavors and strawberries, raspberries, cherries and a hint of sweet spice. I like their slogan “Fresh as a Rose, Balanced as a Bollinger”. $85

Here are three books on wine that I recommend as gifts this Holiday Season: How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto-Eric Asimov

Wine for Dummies-5th Edition -Ed Mc Carthy and Mary Ewing- Mulligan

The New York Times Book of Wine: More than 30 Years of Vintage Writing- Howard G. Goldberg

 

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Filed under Bollinger Champagne, Champagne, Rose Champagne