Thursday, 9 April 2009

Rosé des Riceys

Rosé des Riceys is quite hard to find and can be expensive. It's made in the 3 villages of Les Riceys in the Aube, Champagne: Riceys-Haut, Riceys Haute-Rive and Riceys-Bas. The vineyards there were developed by the monks of the abbeys of Clairvaux and Molesmes, the Dukes of Burgundy, and the Counts of Champagne. The Rosé des Riceys is produced from the black grape pinot noir grown on the steepest slopes with the best aspect and exposure. It is produced only in the very best of years, and is very rare.

Rosé des Riceys was said to have been the favourite wine of Louis XIV. The King was introduced to it by the workmen and masons from Riceys who were brought in for the construction of the foundations of Versailles and the many terraces around the estate.

Les Riceys 2150 acres of vineyards make it the largest wine making commune in Champagne. It’s also the only village in the region to have 3 Controlled Appellation wines. The fermentation is constantly monitored hour by hour throughout its two to three and a half day duration. This is to monitor and capture the exact moment when the wine acquires the aromas that are particular to a Ricey’s rosé. It is the skill, art and experience that will tell the winemaker when to remove the wine from cask. The rosé has aromas of ripe strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, hazelnuts and violets. When allowed to develop over a period of years, these aromas will develop with exotic, spicy overtones. The rosés have a distinctive taste known to the French as goût des Riceys.

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