The Final Rosé: Getting’ Bubbly Wit It
Posted on May 27, 2015
The Final Rosé
Lo and Tee stand at the front of the room. The tension in the air is sticky, sweet, palpable. Even the Commanderie de la Bargemone has ring of dew around his cap. They stand, dressed to the nines, a trail of bottles beside them. A host of varietals breathing a sigh of relief that they have lived to drink another day. The ones that made it. The ones they’ve picked. The chosen rosés.
Blended. Saignée’d. Skin Contacted. Every type is represented, every color explored, every bottle bringing something different to the glass. Flavors and aromas of the chosen varietals swirl overhead, intoxicating the ladies and fuzzing their usually-crystal clear judgement. But it’s late. And these ladies know that there’s a job to do.
They notice there’s something different about one of the remaining rosé options. Something they haven’t seen before. Something a little effervescent about they way he stands, slightly chilled and pale in color, bearing his heart on his label. Something….emotional. Maybe it was the sob story he told about having to go through the fermentation process…TWICE. How could these women not relate to that?
Finally, a mysterious door opens. Footsteps, then Chris Harrison appears and, in a way only Chris Harrison can, announces to the ladies and the group, “This is the final Rosé.”
You Got Me Feeling Emotion
Hellooo, lovah. My, you’re looking bubbly today.
No surprise to anyone, we went with our hearts and chose a 2012 Antech Limoux Emotion Brut Rosé from the Languedoc region of France or our final moment with Rosé. And boy oh BOY are we glad that we did. Since we’ve spent the last few weeks exploring how a traditional rosé got it’s color, we wanted to see how a sparkling rosé got it’s bubbles! The answer? Tradition.
The Languedoc Region of France, where this wine is produced
The Méthode Traditionelle is one of two basic methods of producing sparkling wine, and also the most commonly used method in the Champagne region of France. The method consists of Four Basic Steps:
- First Fermentation – this is just like any other wine, and creates the base wine. The grapes are picked and pressed in whole bunches, or clusters, and only the best part of the juice, or the cuvée, is kept and stored in oak or steel barrel. The yeast then converts the sugar from the juice into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is released and a still wine is created at about 11% alcohol.
- Blending – as we explored last week, this is where the flavors of the wine are determined. The wines mature for one month, then the magician winemakers go in and work their magic! They’re like chefs for wine, mixing and matching different grape combinations to make the best possible flavor. A little pinot noir here, a little chenin blanc there, toss in some chardonnay and mauzac and Voila! A party in your mouth.
- Second Fermentation – Where the bubbles happen! Yeast and sugar are added to the blended base wine and it’s sealed shut with a crown cap. Ya know, like the queen she is. As the wine sits, sealed shut, the life begins to happen…the added sugar converts into alcohol (again, at about 1.3%) and CO2, which makes the wine bubbly. The wine is then left in a cool, dark place to mature for an extended period of time, usually about a year or longer, which is what gives the wine it’s complexity and character.
- The Cap Come Off! – Finally, the cap comes off and she’s ready to play! This is where the winemaker also might add a little more sugar, but here’s a fun fact: if they add sugar at this point, it’s often because they’re trying to hide the wine’s faults. Sneaky, sneaky.
There you have it! That’s just one way a sparkling rosé is born. The Grape Girls LOVED this particular wine. Especially Lo. Watch the video to see just how much.
See you next week, when we get into something a little buttery, a little oaky, and a WHOLE lotta fun.
Your Lovable Lushes,
Lo & Tee