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Best ‘yet to come’ for rosé Champagne

Rosé Champagne is here to stay and the best is yet to come for the category, according to one leading Master of Wine.

Speaking to the drinks business during a horizontal tasting of 1998 Champagne, Richard Bampfield MW said:

“Producers have worked hard to map the best sites for Pinot Noir in the region and are planting vineyards with Pinot specifically to make red wine to be used in rosé production.

“The landscape of the region has changed and houses are planting in top Grand Cru sites in Bouzy and Ay, which is enabling them to produce top quality rosé,” he said.

“Rosé Champagne as a category is still in its infancy – we’ve yet to see the best of what it can do as the top clones have only just been planted. The best is yet to come and it will be an exciting sector to watch,” he added.

Bampfield was speaking during a tutored tasting held at Moët Hennessey UK’s London office.

Put on to celebrate the launch of new prestige Champagne merchant, The Finest Bubble, which offers same day delivery, among the wines in the tasting were Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, Krug and Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rosé.

In addition, tasters got to compare the 1998 vintage of Dom Pérignon in its first and second “plenitude” with the standard vintage pitted against the more recently disgorged “P2”, a library series wine previously known as Oenothèque.

“The 1998 vintage offered early drinking pleasure but it’s really starting to come into its own now,” said Bampfield.

“It’s possible to produce wines of great intensity in high yielding years in Champagne. Rather than seeking to make powerful, concentrated wines, the aim in Champagne is for finesse and delicacy – it’s all about balance,” he added.

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