Coming Up Rosés
Wine connoisseurs and collectors are getting serious about pink bubbly
Blame it on its blushing looks, but rosé champagne has always been perceived as more flirty and fashionable, hence, “less serious” than its golden counterpart. This goes back a long way: In the 17th century, rosé was rejected by the French court of Louis XIV because its pink hue suggested that the juices had been stained by the skin of black grapes during pressing, a sign of poor workmanship.
The bias clings in contemporary times, but rosé’s popularity is on a steady rise. “Rosé champagne offers a combination of flavours that isn’t found in Blanc des Blancs champagne or in a normal Brut vintage champagne,” says Nicola Lee, the Consul General of the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in Singapore. “[In fact, rosé is] a very serious wine. Champagne houses that choose to produce rosé champagne often give the wine their utmost attention”, she notes, citing Champagne Laurent-Perrier and Champagne Billecart-Salmon as prime examples.
Today the toast of sommeliers and fine restaurants, rosé looks to be enjoying its moment in the sun. In that spirit, we asked Singapore’s wine experts for their picks on the best rosé champagnes to drink now.
Rajeshwaran Raja Gopal, group chef sommelier, Les Amis
Larmandier-Bernier Rosé Saignee
“I enjoy Rosé Saignee, which is made by bleeding the grape, rather than mixing white and red wines. It’s usually deeper in hue and richer in flavour. My current favourite is a Larmandier Bernier Rosé Saignee, which has a very low dosage.”
Daniel Chia, wine columnist and educator
Champagne Tarlant Rosé Zero Brut Nature NV
“I enjoy very dry champagnes and although this one is bone dry, it isn’t at all austere, but is rich and generous, with bold and expressive red fruit and citrus notes and a hint of exotic spice.”
Edwin Soon, oenologist
Perrier-Jouet Blason Rosé
“It tastes like how I think all wonderful rosé champagnes should: Elegant with a melange of floral, citrus and red fruit aromas, yet with a hint of toast on the finish to remind you that it’s a champagne and not a pink wine.”
Nicola Lee, Consul General, Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne (Singapore)
1990 Pol Roger Champagne Brut Rosé
“I recently had the 1990 Pol Roger Rosé with a friend over a sushi lunch. It displayed nuances of dark cherries and a hint of chocolate with a luscious finish. Other rosés to drink now (though cellaring is also definitely advised) are the Dom Perignon 2004 Rosé, the Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Elisabeth Salmon 2006 and the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Grand Cuvee Alexandra 2004.”