NV Guy de Forez Brut Rosé, Riceys, Champagne, France (750ml)
Sylvie and Francis Wenner cultivate about 30 acres of vines in the region of Côte des Bars, Champagne’s most southernly region and part of the Aube département. In cool climates, it can be a great challenge for winemakers to get both crisp acidity and fully ripened grapes.
Steep, east-facing slopes help ripen the fruit, while a strong diurnal range (the difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures) at altitude keeps acidity high (if you read about the Hattingley Valley, you’ll notice a theme here). Côte des Bars is known for its Pinot Noir and it accounts for approximately 90% of all plantings here. The Wenners use minimal intervention to highlight the terroir of the Kimmeridgian soils of the region. While this Champagne is bottled as non-vintage, the 100% Pinot Noir is from the 2013 harvest. To express fully the terroir, the must is matured in 100% stainless steel. The wine’s rich color comes from macerating the crushed grapes on their skins. Maceration extracts color and aroma compounds from the grape skins, but little tannin. Dosage is around 9g/L, but the high natural acidity of the wine keeps the perception of sweetness quite minimal. The intense nose sings of candied strawberries, raspberries, and blood orange. The fruit continues onto the palate and along with the structure of Pinot Noir make this elegant (and quite affordable!) rosé the perfect glass of bubbles to enjoy on its own, with canapés, or even with a range of meat dishes.