The Best Rosé Champagnes from our 2020 Champagne Report

Rosé Champagne is not just for Valentine’s Day.  It’s a great food wine—try it with pan-seared duck breast!  And, of course, it’s delightful to drink on its own. We tasted many rosés among the 250 Champagnes in our recently released report Champagne: Diversity and Change. In this article, we list the highest rated ones (92 points and above) along with tasting notes. We found 17 superb rosé Champagnes priced under $100 a bottle and another 5 luxury cuvées priced above $150.  These rosés come from all the different growing regions of Champagne and are produced by both the large Champagne Houses and by Independent Growers.

Several of the rosé Champagnes we tasted are particularly good values, meaning they provide very high quality relative to price. Of special note are those from Barnaut (NV Authentique Rosé Brut), Roland Champion (NV Brut Rosé), Dosnon (Henri Dosnon Brut Rosé), Drappier (Rosé de Saignée Brut), Gonet-Medeville (NV Rosé Extra Brut), Charles Orban (NV Brut Rosé) and Bernard Remy (NV Brut Rosé). If price is of no object, we were especially impressed by the Krug (NV Rosé 22ème Edition) and Veuve Clicquot (2008 La Grand Dame Brut Rosé).

TOP ROSE CHAMPAGNES

Barnaut NV Authentique Rosé Brut Grand Cru Bouzy Montagne de Reims ($70) 93 Light red. Opens with scents of blood orange and red berry and a hint of fresh herbs. Soft and creamy on the attack with dense red fruit flavors of ripe strawberry, blood orange and a hint of earth. Well balanced, this is a first rate rosé Champagne! Disgorged December 2017. A blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Chardonnay.

Besserat NV Cuvée des Moines Brut Rosé Champagne ($80) 92 With alluring scents of wild berries and red currants, this is a rosé Champagne of striking clarity and energetic freshness showing notes of red and dark red berry fruit on the palate complemented by hints of toast and spice. Closes smooth and long. A blend of 30% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, 50% Pinot Meunier aged 3 years on the lees with a dosage of 9 g/L. Disgorged September 2017.

Billecart-Salmon NV Brut Rosé Champagne ($99) 93 Light salmon color. Penetrating, floral aromas of rose petals, red berries and orange zest. A mouth filling, substantial Champagne with flavors that mirror the bouquet with additional toasted grain and brioche notes. Includes 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Meunier with 36 months on the lees.

Roland Champion NV Brut Rosé Champagne ($58) 92 Eye of the partridge color. With a bouquet that evokes leesy hints of red cherry and berry with a touch of stone fruit, this is a finely sculpted wine, beautifully with rich flavors of cherry, shortbread, and a hint of honeyed apricot. A rosé Champagne that’s complex and dry with good palate depth and length. A blend of 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, and 40% Pinot Meunier; 7-8% of the juice is red wine (Pinot Noir) from the 2013 vintage. It spends 3+ years on the lees.

Bertrand Delespierre NV Enfant de la Montagne Brut Rosé Premier Cru Montagne de Reims 92 The non-vintage Enfant de la Montagne is leaner and more focused than the vintage Saignée des Terres Amoureuses. It offers prominent minerals and high toned, floral aromas. The palate is precise and fresh with notes of pomegranate, red berries, and citrus. 40% Pinot Noir, 35% Meunier, 25% Chardonnay from the 2014 base vintage made the saignée method with no oak and partial malo and 40% reserve wines. 9 g/L dosage. Disgorged November 2018.

Devaux NV D Rosé Côte des Bar  92 Light coppery salmon. With a nose of warm summer strawberries and a touch of brambles, the D Rosé provides a lot of flavor in a nicely balanced Champagne. There are notes of Meyer lemon, strawberry and a touch of thyme on a very clean and refreshing palate. Should be excellent with a poke of tuna and avocado. Outstanding freshness for 5 years on the lees; a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay.

Dosnon NV Henri Dosnon Brut Rosé Côte des Bars ($45) 92 Medium red. A compelling, highly fragrant bouquet of strawberry, pomegranate, and cherry blossom, this is an incredibly rich rosé yet dry and focused on the palate. Unusually dark in color, it’s surprisingly dry and light on its feet, evoking scones with strawberries and clotted cream. Pair with something meaty. A blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay aged in bottle for 20 months before disgorgement with a dosage of 10 g/L Outstanding value!

Drappier NV Rosé de Saignée Brut Côte des Bar ($65) 93 Showing red cherry complemented by rose petals on the nose, the Rosé de Saignée is a delicious, complex, and well balanced Champagne. Hints of earth and herbs along with cherry and flinty riverstone appear on the palate, finishing chalky dry with lingering rich mineral and red fruit notes. We like the complexity and balance of this excellent rosé. Pairs superbly with charcuterie and would also go well with rare duck breast.

Gonet-Medeville NV Rosé Extra Brut Premier Cuvée Champagne ($60) 93 A fragrant bouquet of red berries accented by a note of blood orange is followed by delicate palate showing real textural finesse and bright, precise flavors of yellow cherry, raspberry, toasty grain and pastry crust. Long, long penetrating finish. 70% Chardonnay, 27% Pinot Noir and 3% red wine from Ambonnay. Spend 36 months on the lees and 3 g/L dosage; disgorged March 2018.

Alfred Gratien NV Cuvée Paradis Rosé Brut Champagne  93 Medium copper orange. The Cuvée Paradis Rosé is a flavorful, fruity wine with good freshness, a refined mousse, and an appealing spicy quality. Aromas of rose petal, red apple, and a hint of blood orange are mirrored on a nicely balanced, creamy, mouth filling and densely flavored palate. Lingering notes of clementine and candied citrus on a very long lived finish. A blend of 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir.

Moët & Chandon 2012 Grand Vintage Brut Rosé Champagne ($100) 93 Exuberant bouquet showing bright, red cherries and berries and pluot with a freshly baked bread note. The palate is a bit reticent with a definite tannic edge and will benefit from more time in bottle. Still, delicious now and will only get better. A blend of 42% Pinot Noir (13% still red wine), 35% Chardonnay and 23% Meunier. 5 g/L dosage.

Charles Orban NV Brut Rosé Vallée de la Marne ($47) 92 Copper tinged salmon. Ripe berries and orange zest provide an appealing, fragrant bouquet. Bright and effervescent on the attack, the palate is fresh and creamy with just a hint of sweetness, offering ripe strawberry and cherry notes. A blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 5% Meunier and 15% Coteaux Champenois rouge. 10 g/L dosage

Bruno Paillard NV Extra Brut Premiere Cuvée Rosé Champagne ($60) 92 The Premiere Cuvée Rosé reveals the finesse and purity of the Bruno Paillard wines but with special intensity of succulent fruit. It begins with the usual graceful bouquet before showing beautifully delineated fruit on the palate and a firm cut on the finish. A lovely wine. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 106 parcels in 12 vineyards; disgorged July 2018 after 36 months aging on the lees. 6 g/L RS

Bernard Remy NV Brut Rosé Champagne ($44) 92 Showing a fresh red berry/cherry nose with just a hint of earthiness, this is a lively and very appealing rosé Champagne with crisp acidity and a wild strawberry note on the palate. The Bouzy Pinot Noir gives some good tannic grip and firmness. It went superbly with sautéed rare duck breast in a Champagne/rhubarb sauce. A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier with 13% Boozy red wine added.

Louis Roederer 2012 Brut Rosé Champagne ($80) 93 Pale pink. Showing a flinty/smoky nose of oyster shells accented by red berries. Creamy on the attack with a precise palate of cherry skin, toast, and a hint of nectarine. Finishes with lingering red currant and cherry notes. Made with all estate fruit–63% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay–and aged on the lees in bottle for 4 years; 9 g/L dosage.

Ruinart NV Rosé Champagne ($80) 92 Copper orange tinged pink color. The Ruinart NV Rosé is a vinous wine best paired with baked salmon, pan fried duck breast, or similar savory dishes. It shows red berries and tangerine aromas that are mirrored on the palate with additional biscuit notes. It’s expansive and gentle in demeanor.. A blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay with a dosage of 9 g/L

Veuve Clicquot 2008 Vintage Brut Rosé Champagne ($100) 94 Pinkish orange. A refined rosé of striking purity and youthful zest from the great 2008 vintage. The nose is lively and precise with hints of red berries, orange zest and pie spice. The dosage level is perfect and the flavors are complex and expressive with notable notes of red berries and blood orange. Around 70% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, and 10% Meunier. Includes red Pinot Noir from Bouzy. Disgorged November 2016.

LUXURY CUVEES

Charles Heidsieck 2005 Rosé Millésime Champagne ($150) 94 The 2005 Rosé Millésime reveals an appealing core of wild red berries accompanied by pomegranate and kirsch notes. A bright, frothy mousse is followed by a finely textured palate with delicate effervescence that exudes purity and freshness with lovely mid-palate depth and noteworthy persistence. Disgorged 2017 after 10+ years on the lees in two thousand year old chalk cellars. A blend of 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay from 12 Grands and Premiers Cru, including 8% red wine.

Dom Pérignon 2006 Brut Rosé Champagne ($299) 96 The 2006 Dom Pérignon Brut Rosé displays a lively starbright, light pink orange color with a fresh and lively dried cherry and pomegranate nose. It has a creamy attack with flavors of fresh ripe raspberriess and bitter orange. A blend of 56% Pinot Noir and 44% Chardonnay, it includes 20% red wine sourced from top vineyards in Hautvillers, Aÿ and Bouzy. It boasts 11 years aging in the cellar with 6 g/L dosage. It was disgorged January 2018 with a year of post-disgorgement aging.  A superb rosé.

Krug NV Rosé 22ème Edition Champagne ($300) 97  Pale salmon. A strikingly good rosé with an understated bouquet of clementine, rose water, and a hint of smoked almonds. The palate mirrors the nose with outstanding purity, harmony and complexity and a super long, perfumed finish of minerals, orange citrus, and cherry skin. An incredible, refined and luscious rosé!

Laurent Perrier 2004 Alexandra Rosé Champagne ($349) 96 Salmon pink. Introduced by scents of red berry, orange peel and minerals, this 80/20 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is striking in its depth and purity. It has superb textural finesse combined with sleekly sculpted depth and nuances of minerals, smoke and toast. Made from estate Grand Cru vineyards with 8 years on the lees in bottle.

Veuve Clicquot 2008 La Grand Dame Brut Rosé Champagne ($295) 97 The 2008 La Grand Dame Brut Rosé is bursting with personality. It offers bright pomegranate, cranberry and a hint of jasmine on the nose. It’s a big wine, still very young, but unlike the regular Brut offers incredible drinking pleasure right now, although like the Brut will benefit from cellaring. It’s and outstanding pairing with sushi of tuna and of eel. 92% Pinot Noir (14% Clos Colin Pinot Noir from Bouzy) from Veuve Clicquot’s historical Grands Crus. The 8% Chardonnay is from the House’s Grand Cru in Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger.

 

 

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