Rosé champagnes have been around since at least 1764 and today represent a tenth of champagne sales. There is huge variation and some controversy to them. Colors vary from the palest blush to depths approaching red wine tones. Many perceive them as simple quaffing bubbles but some of Champagne’s finest, most age-worthy and prestigious wines are pink. Essi Avellan MW gives us an indepth introduction to the world of rosé champagne covering its history, methods of making as well as prominent house styles.
Champagne and sparkling wine specialist Essi Avellan was Finland’s first Master of Wine. Together with Tom Stevenson she is the author of the Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine. Essi is the organiser of the annual Grand Champagne Helsinki event and a jury member at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. She has been knighted as Chevalier l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the Minister of Agriculture of France.
The appellations of Cigales and Ribera de Duero on the high plateau of north-central Spain, have a long history of making claretes (clairet) wines. When their appellations were created they followed different paths. Cigales chose to focus on claretes and Ribera on red wines.
Now, with the modern focus on pale pink rosé, commercial pressure is on and the old styles ignored.
Claretes are traditionally Tempranillo based, many have up to 50% of the white variety Albillo creating wines with a beautiful balance of fruit and freshness. Styles range from juicy fresh fruit for easy drinking to almost light red wines, with a touch of tannin, ideal for summer drinking.
We will look at some of the history, geography, styles and discussions amongst winemakers concerning these unique wines.
Italy is one of the world's largest producers of rosé, with Pinot Grigio from the Veneto being a major success story, but sales are now falling.
The result has been a growing movement in appreciating the history of Italian rosati, cerasuoli and chiaretti, with its vast range of styles and varieties.
From alpine valleys to Mediterranean volcanic vineyards, from the famous vineyards of Piedmont and Tuscany to small local regions, there is an enormous amount to discover.
Rosé winemaking is not as simple as books would have you believe.
In fact, there is a wide range of complex vinification techniques resulting in a wide gamut of wine styles and an even wider range of colors and hues.
After a year’s worth of research while writing a book on rosé, Elizabeth Gabay, MW, has found that defining and perfecting pink is a lot more involved than saignée and direct press! This webinar offers you a chance to get technical and cutting-edge! Join us!
Rose has seen a huge boom in sales over the last twenty-five years. Popular particularly with younger drinkers, its move into the spotlight seems to be part of a fashion for all things pink. The wines are often thought of as fresh and undemanding but while for many that is part of their appeal, here Master of Wine Elizabeth Gabay reveals the other side of rose, discovering wines (some unavailable beyond the winery steps) that are every bit as complex and intriguing as their red and white cellarmates.
After taking us through the history of rose and discussing varieties and winemaking methods, Gabay turns her attention to the regions where rose is made, first introducing us to historic wines such as Tavel, Cigales and Rose d’Anjou. She next journeys to the heart of the revolution, Provence. The region’s pale-hued wines have become the height of fashion, with wineries owned by Hollywood stars and wines such as Garrus commanding premium prices. Unsurprisingly this has led to much emulation, but as Gabay continues her global rose investigations she discovers that pale is not the only interesting form of rose.
Indeed, one challenge for rose producers is persuading drinkers to look beyond the colour, for as Rose demonstrates these wines come in a huge variety of styles. From traditional clairet roses made using the saignee method to vins gris, natural wines and experimental styles, produced as far afield as British Columbia and Marlborough, California and Crimea, Gabay has tried (nearly) all of them. The result is a detailed yet conversational book that will provoke discussion among those in the industry, wine aficionados and students.