The Renaissance of Rosé Champagne

Sales of Rosé Champagne are booming at the moment according to LVMH Champagne Brand Ambassador Julie Dupouy Young.  A recent on-line tasting of their range  presented by Julie featured three of their top Rosé Champagne brands,  Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial, Veuve Clicquot Rosé, and Ruinart Rosé. 

The portfolio of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) brands are distributed in Ireland by Edward Dillon & Co.  Their representative Robert Loughnane told us that in 1989 the Champagne region produced 800,000 bottles of Rosé, by 2016 that figure had risen to 15 million bottles.  The rise in popularity of Rosé Champagne especially among Generation Z means that today Rosé Champagne is now mostly consumed by men.  Last year saw a boom in Champagne sales, especially on the UK market.  Consumers wanted to push the boat out, particularly as restrictions started to ease, so as a result, Champagne sales have been strong.  However, all is not totally rosy, the loss of tourists mean that in France sales of Champagne dropped by 20%, as the key tourist market disappeared.

Maison Ruinart is the oldest of the three houses, it was orginally founded in 1729.  Ruinart tend to use a high proportion of Chardonnay in their blends.  For their Rosé the Cépage (blend) is 45% Chardonnay, grown in the Côte des Blancs,  55% Pinot Noir grown in the Montagne de Reims. They use 25% Reserve wines for their Rosé and age on the lees for three years  before disgourgement.  The wine had a superb colour, quite deep for a rose, and was very delicate with a fresh acidity and grapefruit flavours. Apparently Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze is a great food match with this Champagne.  Ruinart Rosé RRP €96.00

Stockists: The Corkscrew, Chatham Street; Mitchells & Son, Avoca;  Redmond’s, Ranelagh; Celtic Whiskey Store, Dawson St;  Baggot St Wines, Dublin 4;  Blackrock Cellar,Blackrock, Co Dublin;  64 Wines, Glasthule, On the Grapevine, Dalkey and https://wineonline.ie/

Maison Ruinart have also introduced an innovative new packaging (pictured), called second skin. While in the past, a big gift box made sense, today it does not.  This entirely recyclable cloak made from 100% natural wood aims to reduce waste and recycle materials.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and Ruinart Rosé with the second skin packaging are now available RRP €102.50 from The Corkscrew, Chatham Street;  Baggot Street Wines, Jus de Vine Portmarnock, 64 Wines, Higgins, Mitchell & Son, Glasthule;  Whelehans Wines, Loughlinstown;  On The Grapevine; The Wine Centre Kilkenny, World Wide Wine Waterford, Bubble Brothers Cork, independent wine shops nationwide.

Veuve Clicquot Rosé RRP €73.00 is mostly Pinot Noir 55%, with 25% Meunier and 20% Chardonnay.  The reserve wines used tend to be older so adding a layer of complexity.  Salmon Pink, it has a dried red fruit character and is quite saline on the finish. Recommended served with savoury Tart Tatin or Confit of Duck.

Stockists: O’Briens, The Corkscrew, The Winehouse, World Wide Wines, The Wine Centre, Molloy’s, On The Grapevine, Redmond’s & Celtic Whiskey Shop and Brown Thomas.

Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial RRP €63.00

Rosé Impérial was first launched in 1997, prior to that only Vintage Champagne was Rosé.  This is a blend of mostly red grapes, Meunier 40%, Pinot Noir 40% and 20% Chardonnay.  Moët like their Rosé to have a fruity element and this certainly has with Rhubarb and Strawberry charachteristics showing through. They age it for 24 months on the lees and use relatively young Reserve wines.  Julie recommended beetroot chips with sea salt or summer vegetables with black olives as a good match with this Champagne.

Stockists: World Wide Wines Waterford;  Bradleys,Cork;  Bubble Brothers,Cork; The Wine Centre Kilkenny; The Malt House, Meath;  McCambridges, Galway;  Celtic Whiskey Shop, Dawson St;  Higgins, Clonskeagh; Redmond, Ranelagh;  Joyce’s, Galway; O’Briens; Molloy’s, Dublin and Brown Thomas, Dunnes Stores and SuperValu.

Sean Mitchell

Author at Pynck

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