Dosage ‘more than just a sweetener’
18th June, 2013 by Rupert Millar
Dosage needs to be seen as more than just a sweetener and vital to the stability and longevity of Champagne Moët cellar master Benoît Gouez has argued.
He said that the addition of the liqueur de dosage is seen as doing little save taking the edge of Champagne’s acidity but, he said, “there is more to it.”
With the discussion over disgorgement dates and popularity of zero dosage wines and styles something of a topic of the moment, Gouez’s statement (as well as that of fellow LVMH cellar master, Veuve Clicquot’s Dominique Demarville) comes as a reminder that the procedure is an important element of Champagne production.
In 2011 Moët announced that it was dropping its disgorgement levels from 10/12 grams per litre to around 7 to 8g/l.
However, Gouez said that although he thinks this has “helped focus the aftertaste, I don’t want to go any lower.Non-vintage needs to be accessible.”
He continued that the dosage for vintage was now around 5g/l, “a bit lower for older vintages”, but reiterated that he didn’t want to go much lower than that.
“People think dosage is just for sweetening but it’s not. It helps the wine recover from the shock of disgorgement and acts as a preservative.
“Disgorgement lets a lot of oxygen into the wine and if you don’t do something about it you’ll kill the wine.”