Champenois, Coteaux

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Champenois, Coteaux, appellation used for the relatively rare still wines of champagne in northern France. For every one bottle of still white Coteaux Champenois produced, perhaps 20 of still red Coteaux Champenois are produced (in a good vintage), and 16,000 bottles of sparkling champagne. The wines of this cool region with their naturally high acidity and light body are generally improved by dissolved carbon dioxide. It is difficult to justify the production of white Coteaux Champenois, from expensive Chardonnay grapes, but easier to understand why the Champenois like to be able to drink the odd bottle of local still red from time to time. The village of Bouzy on the montagne de reims has a particular reputation for its red Coteaux Champenois, partly perhaps because of the appeal of the name Bouzy Rouge, as do Aÿ, Cumières, and Ambonnay. These red wines are of interest to outsiders only in the ripest vintages, while the whites and rosés tend to serve only to compliment the Champenois on their wise decision to concentrate on sparkling wines.