Sunday, 15 January 2012

Everything's coming up Rosé!

Champagne Gosset Grand RoseWhat is it about pink champagne which makes it so special? Most people love champagne, and in particular, rosé, but have you ever considered why? Champagne Gosset, the oldest wine house in Champagne, Aÿ 1584, produces two rosés, Grand Rosé (non vintage) and Celebris Rosé (vintage), its prestige cuvée. Let’s take a look at what is so special about rosé champagne.

Why choose rosé? For a start it looks pretty in the glass and there are numerous shades of pink, ranging from the slight hint of a tint, through to strikingly dark, almost mauve in tone. Maybe rosé is particularly popular with lovers due to the colour’s associations with blushing?

Perhaps it is the depth of flavour, often reminiscent of fresh strawberries, raspberries or cherries? Brut rosé can be just as dry as its white counterpart; it is fruitier but just as good, and, by some, considered even better.

How is it made? There are two ways of producing rosé champagne; by blending in a small proportion of still red wine, or by the saignée (or ‘bleeding’) method, where the wine is simply allowed to have more contact with the red grape skins than in normal champagne production. The former method is more usual, and that is the method used by Champagne Gosset; a blend of the finest red wine from the region is added to the white champagne to produce the rosé.

Champagne Gosset’s rosés are both particularly special and ideal for all celebrations, from weddings and anniversaries, to Valentine’s Day, when sales of rosé champagnes and sparking wines tend to soar. Rosé champagne is made by blending juice from the Pinot Noir grape to the white grape juice. In the case of Grand Rosé, the balance is 35 per cent Pinot Noir, with 58 per cent Chardonnay and the remaining 7 per cent red wine made of Grand Cru Pinot Noir of the region (from the local villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay).

In the glass, Grand Rosé is a delicate pale salmon-pink, but on the nose a veritable ‘explosion’ of strawberries – fresh and the finest strawberry jam. In the mouth, it is well balanced with a voluptuous strawberry flavour giving a hint of sweetness. Retailing for around £55 a bottle, a bottle of Grand Rosé makes a very special Valentine’s gift.

Champagne Gosset Celebris 2003 Rosé Extra Brut is 68 per cent Chardonnay and 32 per cent Pinot Noir Grand Cru (also including 7 per cent red wines from Ambonnay and Bouzy). It is very dry but deliciously fruity and true to the character of all Gosset champagnes, there is no malolactic fermentation in the production process. It has a delicate, luminous pale pink hue and displays a spectacular constant stream of thousands of tiny bubbles. On the nose it is more complex than the Grand Rosé, giving fresh, pure scents of freshly picked red berry fruits, with floral notes.

A burst of rose petal jam and red berry coulis titillate the taste buds, developing into a full, rounded flavour, leaving a soothing aftertaste, with notes of aniseed and sweet liquorice, and a persistent hint of vanilla. Retailing at around £120 a bottle, Champagne Gosset Celebris 2003 Rosé is perfect for that very special occasion (or person).

Champagne Gosset is available from most independent fine wine shops and retailers including Berry Bros, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols. It is distributed in the UK exclusively by McKinley Vintners (Tel: 020 7928 7300 or visit http://www.mckinleyvintners.co.uk )
http://www.champagne-gosset.com

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