Friday, October 28, 2011

Champagne - Learn some basic facts to better appreciate #ChampagneDay

REMEMBER: Champagne is the sparkling wine that comes exclusively from the Champagne region of France!

 #ChampagneDay everyday!!!

Learn some basic facts to better appreciate #ChampagneDay:
NV (Non-vintage) Champagnes:
a blend of wines from several years. Fresh and light they are perfect as an aperitif.

Vintage Champagnes:
are produced exclusively from the wines of a single harvest. As a result, producers will only declare a vintage in exceptionally good years. With very few exceptions, these are always the "best value" for every producer.

Salon is a very special House. They only produce Vintage Champagne; their Prestige Cuvee Salon Le Mesnil. A Grand Cru (from Mesnil-sur-Oger) that is also a Blanc des Blancs.

Rose Champagnes:
are produced by macerating the black grapes or by adding locally produced red wine to the blend (usually 8-15% - most houses follow this method).

Veuve Clicquot was the first champagne House to commercialise rose champagne in 1775. Today they produce a pink champagne with a delightfully luscious, fruit-based charm.

Special (Prestige) Cuvees:
are made from the most subtle and distinctive wines - whether vintage or not; whether regular or rose - these are the finest Champagnes

Blanc de Blancs:
A blend of white (Chardonnay) grapes only.

Krug's Clos de Mesnil (a single historic vineyard , enclosed by a wall since 1698) is the supreme example of this style.

Blanc de Noirs:
From black grapes. Pinot Noir only or Pinot Noir blended with Pinot Meunier.

Bollinger is the producer famed for a blanc the noirs of intense richness and a full body.


Sweetness Level

Brut:
accounts for over 95% percent of Champagnes (0-15 grams of residual sugar).

Good producers: (due to the wide range of sugar in this category we will divide it in two):

Especially dry (0-9 grams): Krug - Alfred Gratien - Jacquesson - Bruno Paillard

Quite dry (10-15 grams): Philipponnat - Pol Roger - Veuve Clicquot - Pommery - Deutz - Lanson - Perrier-Jouet - Ruinart - Charles Heidsieck - Mumm - Louis Roederer - Taittinger

Extra Brut (san-dosage):
differ from Bruts in their drier taste (0-6 gr. of sugar).

Good producers: Jacquesson - Laurent-Perrier

Extra Dry (extra sec):
from quite dry to off-dry (12-20 gr. of sugar)

Good producers: Perrier-Jouet - Lanson- Moet & Chandon

Sec:
A very unusual style - Medium dry (17-35 gr. of sugar)

Good producers: Veuve Clicquot

Demi-Sec:
the sweetest of the champagnes produced today* (35-50 gr. of residual sugar).

Good producers: Veuve Clicquot - Louis Roederer - Laurent-Perrier* There is one more level of sweetness: Doux (Sweet), with a residual sugar over 50gr. The style that all Champagnes used to be produced in the past, but that no major House produces today.

Cheers,
LA

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