Philipponnat Royale Réserve Rosé, Champagne, France
The Royale Réserve Rosé is the pink non-vintage cuvée by the Champagne house Philipponat.
Only first-press juices are used. They come mainly from Grand and Premier Cru vineyard sites.
25% to 30% of reserve wines (from older vintages) are used in the final blend. To give those roundness and complexity without using freshness, Philipponnat ages the reserves in wooden barrels using the solera system to incorporate older wines.
Malolactic fermentation is partial, only on certain wines of the blend.
To give the Royale Réserve Rosé its distinctive color, 7 to 8% of still red wine from Pinot Noir grapes from Mareuil-sur-Ay and Riceys is added to the blend.
Dosage is typically-Brut at 9 g/L.
So how good is this N.V. Philipponnat Royale Réserve Rosé Brut Champagne?
The Answer is in the Tasting Notes:
The wine is of an elegant, a little shy salmon pink color (with a slight orange hue that is). An intense ‘gris’ would be another way of describing it. Definitely some yellow hue in there too.
Freshness and temptation are the words that come to mind sniffing this bubbly.
The appetizing, slightly-smoky, and buttery brioche note is the most obvious one. A definite light leesy tone is there too.
But delicate orange blossom and elderflower (floral then) characters freshen up the nose and bring a mouth-watering touch. Clear lime and lemon peel is perceptible. You know like when subtle brioche is delicately and masterfully scented with citrus so it’s not only butter and yeast. That’s what it smells like. Complex, deep, though light, and intriguing.
In one word, the smell is tempting!
As a contrast to the delicacy of the nose, the palate is powerful and rather exuberant.
Full-bodied for a Champagne, the texture is oily, yet with some good tension from the acidity in the background. Bubbles are absolutely very fine. Silky texture with drying savory phenolics to the finish that positively make your mouth water at the end of the tasting experience.
For describing the flavor profile then, well if there was one word that came to mind the most obvious would be ‘bold’. No half-measures here.
Accompanying the ‘full-bodiedness’ are intense flavors of brioche and oily tropical flowers (a bit like on the nose but more full-on), but also rich citrus liqueur notes, and a definite herbal laurel-leaf character.
The finish is very long and very very complex and layered. The quite-overwhelming number of flavors on the palate is decomposed precisely and make itself available to your senses, one scent after the other in an ordered way, for a minute or so following the tasting.
A Champagne rosé sparkling wine that is outstanding by the sheer concentration of flavors and the complexity it delivers.
It is also amazingly interesting to taste and experience. Just look at how many words I’ve needed here to try to describe it!
Wine & Food Pairing
Although I can see how it could also well be easily enjoyed with appetizers at a dinner party by most, this is a sophisticated wine probably best shared with connoisseurs or carefully matched with erudite food.