Champagne, celebrate!

May 24, 2017

3 minutes read

 

Champagne is the most known sparkling wine in the world (proof me wrong). Made via the traditional method, that simply means that there is a 2-nd fermentation in the bottle. Other ways are the tank method & transfer method.

 

 

Originating from the Champagne region, Northern-France, only sparkling wine from this region may be called Champagne. The region has a cool climate, whereby the soil consists of chalk. A perfect & ideal situation that the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier & Chardonnay love to be in. This is btw another requirement of being called Champagne, other grape varieties are not allowed in the blend.

 

 

Single grape Champagne are allowed. A Champagne from 100% Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier red grape is called Blanc de Noir. A 100% Chardonnay is called Blanc de Blancs. Rosé Champagnes exist too, with mainly Chardonnay with a touch of red grape.

 

All of those Champagnes are either a Non-Vintage (NV) or a Vintage. As the climate in Champagnes varies from year to year, plus the high expectations from a Champagne, the winemakers blend the wine from different vintages to keep their Champagne quality consistent.

 

 

If the year was top-notch, the winemaker will make a Vintage from this year, with the year proudly on the label. The taste between the two greatly varies too. NV’s mainly has green fruit, high acidity & a bit of yeasty & toasty notes. The Vintage will have complex yeasty flavours, softer green fruit & high acidity. This is also due to the minimum amount of 36 months this wine must stay on lees. The NV’s have a minimum amount of 12 months.

 

As sparkling wine is quite acidic from itself after fermentation, a tiny bit of sugar before sealing it with the crown cork. The winemaker can decide the dosage level of sugar, that is actually a mix of wine & sugar of grape must). Most Champagnes are made the Brut way, but sometimes you can find other ones too.

 

 

Want to see how it looks in a glass? Check this out from Winefolly.

 

 

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