Styles of champagne

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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In addition to their basic wine, their non-vintage brut, major firms also make single vintage champagnes, typically three or four in every decade. blanc de blancs is made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape while blanc de noirs is made exclusively from black grapes.

This century has seen a fashion for pink or rosé champagne made either by adding a small proportion of red wine to the blend or, less usually, by letting the juice remain in contact with the skin of the grapes for a short time during fermentation. All the major firms have now followed the example of Roederer with their Cristal bottling and Moët & Chandon with Dom Pérignon and produce ‘luxury’, ‘de luxe’, or prestige cuvées to show their house styles at their best.