How Champagne Rosé is Made? Tasting AR Lenoble Rosé Terroirs Chouilly Bisseuil
The wine review of this special cuvée wine of Champagne AR Lenoble Rosé called Terroirs Chouilly Bisseuil gives me here the perfect opportunity to tell you a whole lot about how Champagne rosé is made for those who are interest.
This wine is not only wine, it’s a work of art.
It’s a work of wine craftmanship, not a simple fermented grape juice. But we’ll get into that in a minute…
Watch the Episode of ‘Tasting with Julien’ about Rosé Champagne in Video
About Champagne Rosé Wine and How It’s Made
Now, a few things you need to know about Champagne rosé.
As you know, Champagne in general, the white and the rosé, is often made blending 2 or 3 different grapes, a white grape that is Chardonnay, with reds grapes that are Pinot Noir and sometimes Pinot Meunier.
It’s the same for making rosé Champagne. Except that instead of pressing the red grapes without extracting any color from the skins, winemakers do allow some skins contact on the reds to obtain the beautiful pink color.
Some rosés, not often but sometimes are even made from adding a little bit of red wine to the white.
Unfortunately, often rosé Champagnes, especially the non-vintage ones, are made in a simple fruity style with quite a lot of sugar added at dosage, for wines that are a bit characterless.
You will find vintage Champagnes that have been carefully crafted, because vintage Champagnes are often flagship cuvées for the houses.
The wine I am tasting today is a completely different approach. AR Lenoble is a family boutique Champagne house that every possible know-how and effort into crafting every cuvée they make.
I reviewed earlier on this channel one of their new cuvée that includes reserve wines that were aged in Magnum bottles the Mag 14 by AR Lenoble.
Picture this. AR Lenoble goes to the length of putting Champagne wine into a magnum to age it because they found it’s the best way to make it extra-refined, and then aged for several years, and then blend it and craft it into a special release.
Anyways, let’s talk about this rosé called Rosé Terroirs Chouilly Bisseuil.
AR Lenoble Rosé Champagne
This is a blend of 88% Chardonnay from Grand Cru vineyard in the Cotes de Blancs. Those who know champagne will know that Cotes des Blancs is that special chalky soil area where the best Chardonnays are made in Champagne with the remainder 12% of Pinot noir from Bisseuil which is Premier Cru.
So, wines from fantastic terroirs to start with.
Then, the final blend includes 28% reserve wine, so wine that’s been stored at the winery to refine for several years prior to bottling PLUS 20% of wine fermented in oak barrels and oak vats for extra depth.
Then after blending and bottling for the ‘prise de mousse’ inside the bottle (the process through which the Champagne acquires its bubbles), the wine was aged for 5 years in the winery’s cellar to refine!
Imagine the amount of work, the amount years that it’s taken to craft this Champagne. It’s a blend so you can’t say exactly how old the wine is because it contains different vintages, that’s why it’s a non-vintage. But all elements in there are more than 5 years old and specially aged by the winery, and some elements are probably about 10 years old or so.
So, this is not just wine.
At least not a wine in the common sense, made from take some grapes, ferment them and then in a bottle they go…
No, this is the combination of different wines from different vineyards, all exceptional, all crafted in different ways and then blended to form what the winemakers think is the best possible rosé they can make.
Incredible, but let’s get into tasting the wine.
Non-Vintage AR Lenoble Rosé Terroirs Chouilly Bisseuil Champagne – The Review
Score: 92/100 points
Overall Review Notes & tasting Impressions
This rosé champagne displays a beautiful salmon pink color filled with plenty of orange hues, somewhat like a tainted white wine, bright and shiny, appealing.
The nose features dominant notes of brioche, butter and toasted bread, with floral daisy flowers and elderflower floral finesse. Hints of orange blossom and grapefruit add a fruity element to the aromatic profile.
Taste the wine and you are first stroke by how light and seamless the tasting experience.
This rosé sparkling feels like a soft cushiony cloud on your palate. It’s smooth and soft.
The mineral acidity of the Cotes des Blancs Chardonnay comes through with a saline and mineral feel accompanied by delicate phenolics that both make you salivate enjoyably. Yet the silky and oily texture make for a perfect balance for a dry zingy wine that drinks with extreme finesse.
Flavors are powerful yet elegant. Pomegranate and blueberry, orange and cumquat with a huge burst of concentrated toasted hazelnut and mixed sweet spices.
A pungent and concentrated rosé featuring many layers of leesy, floral, fruity and spicy intensity, all delivered with stunning elegance and refinement.
The Pinot Noir adds elements that are typical of Pinot Noir wine, forest flour, hints of earthiness and dried leaf character adding much depth to the whole.
The result of these many years of crafting by AR Lenoble, this small family-owned winery results in a unique expression of Non-Vintage rosé, one for high-end restaurants and fine home-made dishes to enjoy the refinement of a extra-fine Champagne at home.
Available at a relatively affordable price point (around $50 in the US), this is a great alternative to mainstream Champagne rosé brands, the Grand Cru Chardonnay character and the years of precise Champagne-tradition craftmanship included…
WINE FACTS about AR Lenoble Rosé Terroirs Chouilly Bisseuil
88% Chardonnay from the Grand Cru village of Chouilly
12% Pinot Noir from the Premier Cru village of Bisseuil
Base wines from the 2012 harvest
Vins de réserve: 28%
Proportion de vins sous bois: 20%