Rosé Champagne Report – Liz Palmer Wine Picker Magazine, Milan, Italy

images-1

The Champagne production zone (AOC) is defined and delimited by a law since 1927, stretching over 34,286 hectares of vineyards. It lies 150 kilometres East / North-East of Paris, and is made-up of plots from 320 villages in five departments: Marne (66%), Aube (23%), Aisne (10%) – also shared by Haute-Marne and Seine-et-Marne. The vineyards are also divided by “crus”, a qualitative division of the appellation. Of the 320 villages, 17 are Grand Cru and 42 are Premier Cru.

Champagne terroir has two major distinguishing features: northerly latitude and a dual climate that is subject to oceanic and continental influences. The Champagne region is located near the northern limits of the wine world along the 49th parallel, with the coordinates of 49°5 and 49° North – this means cold climate and harsh weather conditions. The oceanic influence brings steady rainfall and the continental influence ensures ideal levels of summer sunlight, but often causes devastating winter frosts.
The average annual temperature in Reims and Epernay) is 11°C. This complex weather pattern distinguishes the Champagne viticultural zone from the other terroirs in the same group.

The subsoil in Champagne is predominantly limestone –including the outcrops, which consist of sedimentary rock (75% limestone), chalk, marl and limestone proper. This type of subsoil provides good drainage and also imparts that particular mineral flavour found in certain Champagne wines.

These regional differences lead to different styles of wines, different and aromas developing in the fruits.

On 4 July 2015, in Bonn, Germany the UNESCO World Heritage Committee delivered a decision to include the “Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars” on its World Heritage list.
“The property encompasses sites where the method of producing sparkling wines was developed on the principle of secondary fermentation in the bottle since the early 17th century to its early industrialization in the 19th century. The property is made up of three distinct ensembles: the historic vineyards of Hautvilliers, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims, and the Avenue de Champagne and Fort Chabrol in Epernay. These three components – the supply basin formed by the historic hillsides, the production sites (with their underground cellars) and the sales and distribution centres (the Champagne Houses) – illustrate the entire champagne production process. The property bears clear testimony to the development of a very specialized artisan activity that has become an agro-industrial enterprise.”

R O S É C H A M P A G N E

Rosé Champagnes are distinct from brut and blanc de noirs in that they are noticeably and intentionally colored, with hues that span from light pink to copper salmon. There are two main methods of creating this style:

Blended or Rosé d’assemblage

This method is most common – it allows the producer to obtain colour and density identical year to year. It consists of blending still white wine (before its second fermentation) with 5 – 20% of red wine, vinified to be non tannic.

Macerated or Rosé de saignée

This process consists of allowing the grape must to remain in contact with the skins of black grapes (Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier) for a few hours. The natural pigments in the skins begin to colour the juice and at the same time enrich the juice with their aromatic components. Rosé de saignée champagnes are generally richer in taste and have a vinous character, which makes them particularly suitable to be served with food.

Rosé Champagne is produced in both vintage/millesimé and non-vintage versions. Although there is variation in the sweetness levels, the wines are most often dry (brut or sec) in style.
Rosé Champagne account for 3-5% of Champagne’s yearly production. Most of the Champagne houses have this style their portfolios, including: Krug, Laurent-Perrier, Billecart-Salmon, Dom Pérignon, Cristal Veuve-Clicquot. With Billecart-Salmon and Laurent-Perrier’s leading the pack in making Rosé champagne a speciality.
UK is Champagne’s largest export market – sales increased by 6.1% in 2014 reaching 32,675,232 bottles. While US is the second largest export market – sales grew slightly, up 7.3% to 19,152,709 bottles, with rose up 14.4% to 2,758,364 bottles.

US figures 2010-2014

Total Export Rosés % export
2010 134,364,880 11,437,497 8.51%
2011 141,328,649 12,699,146 8.99%
2012 137,349,432 13,004,384 9.47%
2013 137,639,340 13,371,939 9.72%
2014 144,870,262 13,731,634 9.48%

Rosé Top Ten Markets 2014

2014 Country

1 ETATS-UNIS
2 ROYAUME-UNI
3 ALLEMAGNE
4 JAPON
5 SUISSE
6 ITALIE
7 BELGIQUE
8 ESPAGNE
9 NIGÉRIA
10 RUSSIE

Some salient characteristics of our favourite Rosé Champagnes:

IMG_4060

Dom Pérignon Metamorphosis Rose 2003
Exquisite soft rose-colour with nose of cherry and soft citrus; creamy textured and precise with flavours that are complex and rich; focused and elegant with subtlety and depth; graceful and well balanced with a long echoing finish.
96 Points

Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002
Medium pink hue with lively effervescence; soft aromas of strawberry, cherry and blood orange with some notes of butter and dried flowers; crisp Chardonnay -underlay pinot fruit on the palate with a very silky, long finish.
93 Points

Krug Rosé – NV
Pale salmon colour (with some subtle hint of pink) and fine bubbles; aromas of rose hips, ham, mulberries, redcurrant, peony, pepper & pink grapefruit; mouthfilling but refilled and elegant layers of honey, citrus and dried fruit with long finish.
96 Points

Delamotte Brut Rosé NV
Very pale, delicate rose hue; fresh berry fruit and blood orange come through on the nose and palate, with some chalky mineral notes – medium finish.
92 Points

Pascal Doquet Brut Rosé Premier Cru NV
Pale salmon colour; aromas of red fruit, flowers, and minerals lead to a palate with hints of strawberry, toast, and minerals – fresh and ample mouthfeel.
92 Points

Perrier-Jouet Rose Belle Epoque 2004
Light salmon pink; with delicate aromas of floral, strawberry, raspberry, orange and pink grapefruit; fresh, refined attack with subtly crisp notes of pomegranate and pink grapefruit; full-bodied with a long, silky finish.
94 Points

Charles Heidsieck, Brut Rosé Réserve
Very pale pink, rich toasty aromas with creamy texture; finely honed acidity lending a mouthwatering impression to flavors of crème de cassis, toasted brioche, lemon curd and roasted almond; long, spicey finish.
93 Points

Liz Palmer

The Region of Champagne Takes the Lead on Climate Change

tiffany 053At a time when Paris is hosting the COP 21 talks that could pave the way for an agreement on combating climate change, the Champagne Region is contributing to the international effort through its pioneering commitment to sustainable and responsible wine-growing.

Global warming in the region is a fact: temperatures have increased by close to 1.2°C in 30 years and the blossoming and grape harvest dates have moved forward by a fortnight. “The Champagne Region very quickly grasped that climate change was a priority issue and we were duty-bound to plan ahead”, explains Vincent Perrin, the director general of the Comité Champagne.
The whole Champagne Region began to get involved in the 1980s, implementing solutions to protect the environment (technical specifications, decision-making tools, advice and support).

In 2003, Champagne was the world’s first wine-growing region to calculate its carbon footprint and implement a carbon plan which enabled several focus areas to be selected (sustainable wine-growing, transport and freight, building energy efficiency, responsible procurement and fostering active involvement) and led to truly innovative solutions being developed, such as reducing the weight of Champagne bottles by 7%.

In a decade, the region has managed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% per bottle shipped, making it one of the few industries to have reduced its emissions in absolute terms.
All of the region’s professionnals are now involved in the initiative.

Moreover, UNESCO’s decision to include the Champagne Slopes, Houses and Cellars on its World Heritage List is a source of encouragement for the efforts made and demonstrates the industry’s ability to preserve its heritage.

“The Champagne houses and growers are more united than ever before around a sustainable wine-growing strategy. Promoting our wines means constantly innovating so that we can pass on our economic and environmental heritage to future generations”, conclude Pascal Férat and Jean-Marie Barillère.

Source: CIVC, France


DUVAL-LEROY becomes the first “100% Vegan” Champagne House

champagne-spaThe Duval-Leroy family has just announced that their entire range is now 100% vegan friendly.

The Vertus-based producer reportedly made the move as part of a wider environmental plan it has been working towards for many years. Widely recognized today for its strong commitment to working in total harmony with nature, the Duval-Leroy has now passed a major new milestone in its history which dates back to 1859.



Charles Duval-Leroy explains: “To become 100% Vegan, we needed 20 years’ experience. A colossal project was mounted to arrive at a method of natural clarification, mainly through the lengthening of time spent in vat or in barrel. In this way the wines retain all their taste, giving champagnes which are both rich and concentrated. It’s the perfect culmination and complement to all the work that precedes it in the vineyard, in harmony with nature. With an effervescence that is even more refined, more delicate… more dynamic!”


Laboring the soils and the vines with the greatest respect for the environment, Duval-Leroy has invested in this 100% vegan approach in order to preserve and highlight the quality of the freshly picked grapes. 

Since its production is entirely in-house, Duval-Leroy can guarantee a perfect level of traceability for its “100% Vegan” wines. A natural final filtering allows the wines to retain all their proteins and polysaccharides, thus adding richness to the wines and creating an effervescence of even greater finesse.

The Duval-Leroy family are convinced that this more natural approach is a guarantee of increased quality for the years to come.

Champagne Duval-Leroy
www.Champagne Duval-Leroy
69, avenue de Bammental
CS 20037 – 51130 VERTUS – France

1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism:September 2016 Kakheti, Georgia

1200x630_272696_kakheti-georgia-s-cradle-of-wineThe World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with the Georgian National Tourism Administration recently announced at the World Travel Market in London the 1st UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism – the wine tourism conference will be held in the Kakheti wine region of Georgia September 7-9, 2016.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, who led the presentation with the Head of Georgian National Tourism Administration, George Chogovadze and the Georgian Ambassador to Spain, Zurab Pololikashvili, explained: “Wine tourism represents a growing segment with immense opportunities to diversify demand. In the case of Georgia, this potential is well-known and we are very pleased to be holding the first UNWTO Global Conference on Wine Tourism in the country”.

“Georgia’s unique wine-making traditions date back 8,000 years and are part of UNESCO’s intangible heritage, creating the ideal base to host the Wine Tourism Conference. Herewith, the country’s recent success in attracting a growing number of tourists, its development in terms of tourism products, branding and marketing present an excellent platform to share best practices, experience and knowledge” said Dimitry Kumsishvili, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

Gastronomy and wine have become key components for experiencing the culture and lifestyle of any destination and a growing travel motivation. To foster the development of this segment UNWTO launched in September, the UNWTO Gastronomy Network.

Unknown

For more information about the Conference, click here: 

http://affiliatemembers.unwto.org/event/1st-unwto-global-conference-wine-tourism

BULGARIAN – PART 3 – ROSSIDI WINERY

IMG_1128++Edward Kourian, owner of Rossidi Winery has been travelling with us throughout this journey and I was really looking forward to visiting his facility and tasting his wines. We drove into a gated industrial facility and parked. We have arrived at Rossidi Winery. So unique – just like the owner and his wines!

Rossidi Winery is located in the City of Sliven, 300 km east of Sofia and 130 km from both Greece and Turkey – its name is derived from the combination of the owner (Edward) and his lovely wife (Rossitsa) – hence ROSSIDI.

IMG_1126++

We spent the afternoon learning about Rossidi, it’s history, philosophies and indulged in some tasting. The tastings were lead by both Edward and Winemaker Peter Georgiev.

We learn that not only is Edward an oenologist, he has also studied music, engineering and graphic design, and is also one of the founding members of The Bulgarian Association of Independent Wine Growers.

Rossidi has 40 hectares of vines with 7 currently yielding – located near the village of Nikolaevo in the Thracian Lowlands; with plantings of: chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The unique labels are designed by Edward himself; each are vivid and bold reflecting the true character of the wine.

IMG_1103++

 

On the line up:

Rossidi Unison 2014

Rossidi Rose 2014

Rossidi Gewurztraminer 2013

Rossidi Pinot Noir 2013

*Ross-idi Winery Egg Fermented Nikolaevo 2013

Rossidi Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Rossidi Syrah 2013

Rossidi Merlot 2013

Rossidi Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

*Signature by Rossidi 2012

*Ross-idi Winery Egg Fermented Nikolaevo 2012

Rossidi Syrah 2012

Rossidi Pinot Noir 2011

Rossidi Pinot Noir 2009

*ones to watch for

 

IMG_1121++

Rossidi philosophy is: “The wine has to reflect the terroir it comes from and the main features of the variety it is made from and it should not be a commercial product deliberately shaped by the technologist to match the current fashionable tastes” he goes on to say “I believe we can be interesting not because we have copied someone but because we are ourselves and our wine reflects its terroir.”

IMG_1105

A distinct product is their Gewürztraminer – this grape variety is non-typical for Bulgaria

Another distinct product – they use the Egg-Shaped Concrete Fermenter for their chardonnay. With great success – for his first test run Rossidi won the only silver medal for Bulgaria at the International Wine Challenge London 2013, as well as a Decanter 2013 bronze medal.

Liz Palmer