Champagne - Part Four
What can be read on a champagne label? The brand and the name of the maker; the dosage (brut, sec or so on); the year or lack of a year; the phrase blanc de blancs when only white grapes have been used in the wine; when possible, the commune of origin of the grapes, and finally, sometimes, but less and less often, the qualitative classification of the grapes: Grand Cru for the 17 communes that have the right to the description, or Premier Cru for 41 others. The professional standing of the producer must appear, printed in small letters: NM meaning a merchant-winemaker; RM a grower making champagne from other sources; CM a cooperative that makes and sells its own champagne using grapes from its member growers; MA the brand of the buyer; RC a small grower who sends his grapes to one or several cooperatives to be make into champagne because he does mot habe the equipment to do so himself, and who receives the finished champagne to sell;
Champagne - Part two
More about Champagne
The particular demands of the champagne method, which takes a number of years (three on average and many more for vintage years), requires that over a milion bottles be kept in storage at any one time. According to the CFCE (Centre Francais du Commerce Exterieur), exportation of champagne represents an important part of total French wine exports.
Wine has been made in Champagne since at least the time of the Roman invasion. The first wines to be produced were white; laster production was of red and then 'gris' (grey), which is white or nearly-white wine that comes from pressing black grapes. At an early stage the wine had the irritating habit of fizzing up in the barrels. Systematic bottling of these unstable wines was invented in England, to where, dissolve in the wine, and sparkling wine was born. Dom Perignon, the procurator of the Abby in Hautvillers and a forward-looking blending technician, produced the best wines at his Abbey; he was also able to sell them for the highest prices.
Champagne - Part three
Champagne - Part three
Champagne The uniqueness of champagne is apparent right from the harvest itself. No harvesting machines are permitted, and everything is picked by hand because it is essential the the grapes get to the press in perfect condition. Rather than the hods used elsewhere, pickers carry small baskets to ensure that the grapes are not too crushed. Presses are set up in the heart of the vineyards to shorten the time the grapes are transported. Why is such care taken? Because champagne is a white wine made for the most part from o black grape, the Pinot Noir, and it is essential that the colorless juice should not be stained by contact with the grape skins.
Other wines from Champagne
This wine has been classified AOC since 1974. It is available as white wine, red wine, and rose wine. These are exceptionally rare wines, remnants of the past.
In addition to sparkling wines, Champagne also produces a number of still wines.
ROSE DES RICEYS
This is extremely rare and undoubtedly one of the best French roses. The simple Rose des Riceys is drunk young and chilled . When aged in oak the wine can be kept longer (more than 10 years) and is then served slightly less chilled (50-53°F/10-12°C).
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