30 March, 2002

Pink number two

One of the pink leaders, the rose of the house of Ruinart.

The pink champagne is now the second biggest seller in Champagne after the brut without year

"Everybody can make a pink champagne, the art is to do it well," said Yves Dumont from another pink leader, Laurent-Perrier, the other day to the newspaper l'Union.

To do a pink champagne well means - of course - that the taste must be good. That's obvious. But the colour must be pretty as well, and the style must be in accordance with the assortment of the house.

There are two ways to make a pink champagne.

Rosé d'assemblage
Assemblage means blend, and the blended rosé gets its colour, when you mix the clear wine with red wine. Good summers in Champagne with lots of sun helps maturing the red grapes, results in better red wines (ought to anyway), and thus a more pretty rosé. The colour of the red wine is decisive for the colour of the rosé champagne.

More invest in the right equipment to make red wine - the right kind of vats - in our cooperative also an assembly belt to sort the red grapes. And a sight, that is not common in Champagne: Men, who trample the red grapes to pieces. A practice, that draws as much colour from the grape skins as you can. Normally this is excactly what you don't want when you make champagne. But for a red wine it is different.

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The grapes are manully sorted on an assembly belt.

You make your red wine the ordinary way, your clear still wine in the same ordinary way, whether it is made of white or red grapes, clear it will be. This is after all Champagne. When the still wines are ready, normally in the beginning of the year after the grape harvest, you mix red wine and clear wine - add yeast and sugar - and transfer the lot to your champagne bottles.

Now the second fermentation begins. It typically takes 14 days before the bubbles are made - this period is called the prise de mousse - and then the bottles mature at least 18 months. Vintage champagnes mature at least three years.

Rosé de Saignée
A less common way to make your pink champagne is the saignée-method, where the colour and sometimes fruity character originates the skin of the grapes.

The still wine is made of red grapes - Pinot Noir or Meunier - the skin is left to macerate with the must about 24 hours while under rather intensive serveillance. This is also the way a red wine is tainted. Later you make your wine in the normal way, whatever you use vats or casks. The champagnisation takes place in the same way as for the rosé d'assemblage.

And your pink champagne is ready to party.

Rosé de Saignée from our cooperative.

Rosé without year, 2006: 9.536.845 bottles
Vintage rosé, 2006: 467.974 bottles

More to read: Kinky bubbles

På dansk

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