- Champagnes: Differences related to grape varieties
- White, rosé, and Blanc de Blancs Champagnes: Differences in aromas
- Specifics of Champagne production
Champagnes: Differences Related to Grape Varieties
In Champagne, when making a Champagne comparison, it's essential to talk about grape varieties. Indeed, these grapes give character to Champagne and determine whether it becomes a white, rosé, or Blanc de Blancs Champagne.
The primary grape varieties used for Champagne production are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. In addition to these major varieties, minor ones like Pinot Gris, Arbane, or Pinot Blanc can also be used. Our Maison, De Lozey, tends to utilize Pinot Blanc rather than Pinot Meunier. If you're curious why, we invite you to discover the secrets of our Maison De Lozey's grape varieties.
Returning to the difference between white Champagne, rosé Champagne, and Blanc de Blancs Champagne, it comes down to their composition. Here are the details:
- White Champagne is a traditional brut Champagne. Therefore, it can be produced by blending different grape varieties. Thus, you can find white Champagnes made from blends of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, or even Pinot Blanc. The latter accounts for 10% of the production at De Lozey Champagnes, and we use it in our finest Champagnes. Our Champagne with Pinot Blanc is one of our specialties.
- Blanc de Blancs Champagne is exclusively produced with Chardonnay grapes. It is made solely from white grapes, although it can be a blend of different cuvées. The difference between Blanc de Blancs Champagne and white Champagne lies in its 100% Chardonnay blend. These Blanc de Blancs cuvées with brioche notes enjoy higher prestige than brut Champagne. They are considered the finest in Champagne, known for their fresh and floral aromas, primarily those of Chardonnay, appealing to Champagne enthusiasts.
- Rosé Champagne can result from either blending a red Champagne wine with white wine or using 100% Pinot grapes. The addition of red wine to the juice obtained from red and white grapes is a unique characteristic of Champagne. Rosé Champagne made from 100% Pinot grapes is called Rosé de Saignée. Our Maison De Lozey has chosen to produce Rosé de Saignée Champagne using 100% Pinot Noir grapes. For Rosé de Saignée Champagne, the grape skins are preserved during the initial days of maceration. This allows the tannins from the grape skins to be released, giving the must and juice their lovely pink color. They are then filtered to remove any remaining skin residue.
White, Rosé, and Blanc de Blancs Champagnes: Differences in Aromas
The difference between rosé and white Champagne also lies in their aromas. These aromas remain specific to the grape varieties used in their production, giving each its characteristic aromatic notes. For De Lozey Champagnes, this range of nuances is essential. It allows us to create new blends following our specific methods. Additionally, it gives identity to our prestige Champagnes, such as our Brut Tradition Champagne. Some are even made from blends of our finest grape varieties.
Aromas of Blanc de Blancs ChampagneWhat sets Blanc de Blancs Champagne apart from other Champagnes is that it's 100% Chardonnay. As a result, it develops light notes of white flowers, unlike Pinot, which has scents of red fruits. In addition to cherry and currant scents, Pinot's floral notes are more reminiscent of peonies or roses. Chardonnay is a grape variety known for its vivacity and minerality. The aromas of Chardonnay evolve over time and can be characterized as follows:
- From 2 to 3 years: Multiple notes emerge, including white flowers, linden, and hawthorn. These floral notes are accompanied by hints of citrus and exotic fruits. Additionally, spicy notes like vanilla, ginger, anise, or mint become apparent.
- Between 3 and 8 years: This stage is about balance and maturity. Aromas shift from brioche and pastries to gradually develop roasted nuances.
- Beyond 6/8 years, complexity and fullness emerge. Aromas include toasted bread, gingerbread, and quince paste.
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For lovers of finesse and delicate subtlety. This 100% Chardonnay Champagne offers impeccable smoothness and length on the palate.
Aromas of Rosé Champagne
As mentioned earlier, the difference between rosé and white Champagne primarily lies in the grape varieties. Rosé Champagne is made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. As a result, the aromas of Rosé Champagne are distinctive, reflecting a harmonious combination of Chardonnay's fresh notes and Pinot Noir's red fruit notes. Unlike Chardonnay, whose aromas evolve significantly over the years, Pinot Noir maintains its red fruit notes, only revealing hazelnut, coffee, and raisin aromas beyond 6/8 years of aging. Rosé de Saignée Champagne from our Maison De Lozey expresses itself delicately and elegantly, with intense and sweet notes of strawberry and cherry, subtly enhanced by a hint of currant.
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Sensual and surprising, our rosé Champagne captivates with its intense color and flavor. Its assertive character delights connoisseurs and surprises newcomers.
Specifics of Champagne Production
From a purely technical standpoint, there aren't significant differences in the production methods of Champagnes. Whether they are white, Blanc de Blancs, or blend rosé, they are produced in the same manner. Since they are Champagne AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée), they are crafted following the Champagne method.
Whether it's white Champagne or Blanc de Blancs Champagne, the Champagne production steps are the same. They follow the same step-by-step manufacturing process. The only difference lies in the blending step, which primarily pertains to grape varieties rather than the method itself. Each production step adheres to the Champagne method's specifications. Whether the Champagne is white or Blanc de Blancs, it will always aim to produce brut, extra-brut, or sec Champagne.The only notable difference is between rosé and white Champagne. Rosé Champagne can be made either by blending or by the saignée method, which is unique. To fully understand the intricacies of this method, we invite you to visit Maison De Lozey and learn about the production of Rosé de Saignée Champagne. Now you know everything about the difference between white Champagne, rosé Champagne, and Blanc de Blancs Champagne. The real difference you'll notice when purchasing will be on your palate. Consider whether you prefer fresh and floral notes or red fruit notes. Of course, this is highly individualized, but it can already serve as a criterion for distinguishing between rosé and white Champagne. If you'd like more guidance in your choice, you can read several of our articles on Champagne and food pairings. For example, summer fruits paired with Champagne: the best pairings to choose between Rosé de Saignée or Brut Tradition. For aperitif pairings, we invite you to read Champagnes and Appetizers, our tips for a successful moment. And finally, when it comes to cheese, which Champagne pairs best with which cheese?
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Deliciously fruity, energetic, refreshing, and easy to enjoy, it's the essential Champagne, the reliable choice. A classic Champagne that will truly tickle your taste buds.