Sparkling Wines – Champenoise Method (3)

Sparkling Wines - Champenoise Method (3)

Most champagnes are made from a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, with a common proportion of 60% to 40%. However, there are champagnes called blanc de blancs, which are made exclusively from chardonnay grapes.

Salon is a recognized and high-end brand that produces an exceptional blanc de blancs from a single vineyard in Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger. On the other hand, blanc de noirs is made solely from pinot noir or red grapes, which are quickly pressed to prevent the color of the skin from affecting the wine’s tone.

The red fruit aroma of the wine is obtained thanks to the pinot noir grape variety, which also adds body and power to it. On the other hand, the meunier grape contributes with its flexibility and fruitiness, while its intense bouquet quickly evolves and adds roundness to the wine. The chardonnay grape, in turn, brings finesse to the wine and floral and mineral notes when young, and evolves slowly, making it ideal for complementing the wine aging process.

In the wine world, when a particularly exceptional aspect of a wine is identified, such as the vintage, grape variety, or terroir, its uniqueness can be highlighted without blending it. This can be achieved by using a single grape variety, such as blanc de blancs or blanc de noirs, or by producing the wine from a single terroir or vineyard, such as grand cru or premier cru. In addition, an exceptional year can be highlighted using the term “millésime.”
The sweetness of champagne is determined by the amount of sugar added during fermentation, which varies after the second fermentation and aging. The different levels of sweetness of Champagne are classified as follows based on the amount of sugar added: up to 3 grams of sugar per liter for Brut Nature, up to 6 grams for Extra Brut, up to 15 grams for Brut, between 12 and 20 grams for Extra Dry, between 17 and 35 grams per liter for Dry or Sec, between 33 and 50 grams for Semi-Dry, Semisec or Demi-Sec, and more than 50 grams for Sweet or Doux.
Champagne bottles have a specific design to withstand the pressure of carbon dioxide, and their thickness is greater compared to non-sparkling wine bottles. The standard size of a champagne bottle is 75 cl and has a reinforced bottom. In the 19th century, local merchants created various bottle sizes, such as the eighth (9.4 cl), the quarter (18.75 or 20 cl), the medium (37.5 cl), and the missile (1 L). Today, larger sizes have been added, such as the magnum (1.5 L), jeroboam (3 L), balthazar (12 L), and melchizedek (30 L), among others. These larger bottles have the capacity to hold from 2 to 40 normal-sized wine bottles.

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