Few rosé Champagnes are terroir driven wines. Most try to meet expectations for greater fruitiness, softer texture and often (but not always) more dosage. The approach is not dissimilar to still rosé, which is nearly always treated as less serious quaffable wine.
Then there are the very few producers that give rosé Champagne the same treatment as their other top bottlings: Larmandier-Bernier, Cedric Bouchard, Vouette et Sorbet, Selosse, and Jacquesson.
Greatness in Single Vineyards
Jacquesson has long been a favourite producer with remarkable consistency and affordability. Their recognition has been growing and so prices are following suit, but for the quality of what’s in the bottle, the pricing remains very fair.
While the numbered cuvees are the workhorses and delicious wines, in my view it is the single vineyard terroir bottlings that really distinguish this house. (That is likely blasphemy to the Chiquet brothers who prioritize the 700 series cuvee over all other wines and will decline to bottle single vineyard Champagnes if the juice is needed for the 700 series). Jacquesson makes four single vineyard bottlings, from vineyards in Avize, Aÿ and Dizy.
Though not all of Jacquesson’s holdings are “grand cru”, their premier cru vineyards are very strong evidence that the grand cru system has some serious issues. The “terres rouge” (a single vineyard in Dizy, which is part of the Marne), for instance, is clearly superior quality to many other houses wines made with ‘grand cru’ fruit and there is extremely distinctive terroir in the form of minerals and spice.
Of course the increased quality has to do with Jacquesson’s extremely rigorous farming and pressing practices, where they push grape maturity and are fanatical about gentle pressing so as not to break the grapes – using free run juice only. That said, it is only a properly farmed vineyard that shows its true character and potential.
This wine is outstanding. It is among the very best rose Champagnes I have had and combines a wonderful vinous quality (tastes great flat and at room temperature) with complex richer red fruits aligned with extremely nuanced minerality. Galloni mentions rose petals and pomegranate and I agree.
The wine is also dry, with a small 3.5g dosage and low alcohol at just around 12% ABV (this cuvee is often below 12%). It is exceptionally food friendly but also magnificent to follow over a long evening as its soil driven personality blossoms.
$150 (tax included) at Marquis Wine Cellars