with our wine correspondent Cormac Power, proprietor of The Fat Angel Restaurant, Cathedral Square, Waterford
IT was once thought that organic wine will never make the mainstream, Bordeaux will only ever be a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and rosé wine will never be more than a summer tickle. Champagne is a region that demands to be taken seriously, if only for their prices, and rosé Champagne is now more than ever a serious wine. Once thought by the Champagne houses to be the dross of Paris and made from leftover fruit by producers, the reputation of rosé has risen above a lot of brut Champagnes. The cause behind the rise of rosé is three fold. Consumer demand has risen for still rosé, warmer seasons have favoured the dark skinned Pinot Noir, and winemakers themselves have at last given it the attention it deserves. A change in the method of production emphasises this.
Previously rosé Champagne was made by the addition of a small amount of red wine, now the more sophisticated and skilled method is used; a short maceration of juice on the skins of red grapes. Even within this plush category of Champagne, demand is growing for vintage rosé and older vintages of rosé highlighting a solid fan base. Rosé champagnes share of the market has risen from 5% to 15% and growing so you never know. One thing is for sure though; we will never drive in electric cars!
Wine of the Week:
Charles Heidsieck, Rosé Reserve: The Charlie in Champagne Charlie is responsible for this one. A deliciously fresh wine which perfectly expresses the complexity of the Charles Heidsieck spirit. Coral-like in appearance. Freshly picked strawberry aromas gradually become more intense. A vivacious palate full of red fruit, with some generous floral notes. Following a silky-rich texture, the finish is long and balanced.