How Rosé Champagne is Made

Rosé Champagne in glasses

Champagne and rosé are both synonymous with celebrations. So if you combine the two, you have the perfect bottle for a special occasion.

But how is rosé Champagne made?

To start, Champagne can only be made with three grape varieties; Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier or Pinot Noir.

There are two methods; the first is rosé d’assemblage or blended Champagne and the second is rosé de saignée or macerated Champagne.

Rosé Champagne 

Region it’s produced: Champagne, France

Grapes Used: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir

The two methods: Rosé d’assemblage or blended pink Champagne and rosé de saignée or macerated pink Champagne

Typical flavors: Rosé Champagne offers more fruit intensity than it’s white counterpart, doling out red fruit flavors from delicate strawberry to rich cranberry.

For the first method, winemakers add up to 15% of still red Champagne wine, either Pinot Meunier or Pinot Noir, to the otherwise white wine.

The second method involves allowing grape musts to be in contact with the skins for just a few hours. The skins not only impart their color into the wine but some flavor and aromatics as well. This method often produces wine with a deep pink color and stronger flavor profiles.

So whether it’s a celebration or  you’re excited that it’s finally the weekend grab a rosé Champagne. Here are some of our recommended finds.

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H. Blin NV Rosé de Saignée Edition Limitée Extra-Brut Pinot Meunier (Champagne); $96, 94 points. The color of this limited-edition production is darker than many rosés, the product of skin contact rather than adding red wine. The color also heralds the richness of the wine, with its several years of bottle aging. Toast comes through the red fruits and the well-balanced acidity. Drink now. Soilair Selection. Editors’ Choice. —Roger Voss

Deutz 2013 Brut Rosé (Champagne); $68, 93 points. Still young, this crisp, fruity wine is tangy and packed with red-currant flavors and acidity. The fruit balances with the fresh, tangy character that will allow this wine to age well. Drink now for its freshness, but the wine will be best from 2020. Vision Wine Brands. Editors’ Choice. —R.V.

Pol Roger 2009 Rosé Brut (Champagne); $123, 93 points. This perfumed wine has just the right color and lively, crisp acidity. The full-bodied feel is very much the house style of this producer, giving richness from ripe red fruits as well as balanced acidity to finish. The wine is generous and ready to drink. Frederick Wildman & Sons, Ltd. —R.V.

Joseph Perrier 2005 Esprit de Victoria Brut Rosé (Champagne); $100, 92 points. Wonderfully mature, this complex wine has a pale color that is just showing some age. The richness has changed into a tighter character hinting at toast, with a mineral edge. It is ready to drink. Baron Francois Ltd.—R.V.

Barons de Rothschild NV Rosé Brut (Champagne); $120, 92 points. This ripe, red-fruit-flavored wine is smooth and juicy. Its fruitiness is balanced by the filigree of acidity and minerality to give a rich wine that is also elegant. Drink this bottling now. Taub Family Selections. —R.V.

Mailly Grand Cru 2010 L’Intemporelle Rosé Grand Cru Brut (Champagne); $129, 92 points. From a producer with a panoply of Grand Cru vineyards, this wine is balanced and perfumed. The crisp texture and taut red fruit contrast with the generous richness of this still-young wine. It needs to age a bit more. Drink from 2019. Saranty Imports. —R.V.

Lallier NV R.014 Rosé Brut (Champagne); $53, 91 points. Dominated by fruit from the 2014 vintage, this wine was aged for three years before disgorging. That’s given richness without losing the ripe fruit: rich Pinot Noir and taut Chardonnay. It is still a structured wine and will be softer from 2019. Massanois Imports. Editors’ Choice. —R.V.

Salmon 2013 Special Club Rosé de Saignée Zéro Dosage (Champagne); $125, 91 points. This small-production wine is rare for another reason: it is 100% Pinot Meunier. The producer, based in the Vallée de la Marne, has made a dark-colored rosé, softly textured although with considerable acidity. A young, fruity wine, it will be better from 2020. BPW Merchants. R.V.

A.R. Lenoble NV Rosé Terroirs (Champagne); $59, 90 points. As in all this producer’s wines, a good proportion is aged in wood before blending. This gives the house style of richness and tight spice, balancing the dry nature of the wine. All Chardonnay except for the Pinot Noir to give color, this rosé is taut, crisp, light in color and ready to drink. Lauber Imports. R.V.

Bruno Paillard NV Rosé Première Cuvée Extra Brut (Champagne); $60, 90 points. Hinting at pale salmon pink, this wine is crisp, showing the producer’s predilection for low dosage. The wine is all about red-currant fruits and a mineral texture. Although the bottling is just ready to drink, it will be better from 2019. Verity Wine Partners. R.V.

Published on February 8, 2019
Topics: Wine Ratings