This year, the arrival of Spring Day is a change of season imbued with a sense of hope and after a long, hard winter we’re planning on celebrating the 1st of September with some serious joie de rosé. The mere mention of “rosé champagne” evokes memories of picnics, poolside sipping and warm evenings – sun-kissed, glass in hand and embracing an eagerly awaited new season.
“Rosé has become the Champagne of millennials,” said anthropologist Richard Delerins at the 5th International Rosé Symposium (Rencontres Internationales du Rosé) in Marseille in 2019. “Rosé is more than a colour: it is a mode of self-expression that captures the moments of spontaneity and inner truth that are the values of a new generation.” Indeed, as the quality and variety have grown, rosé is a style that’s been afforded a new kind of respect by champagne drinkers globally, from globetrotting Hollywood actors and social media personalities to fine-wine aficionados.
Contributing to this heightened esteem is the move towards a vinous style that’s drier and more terroir-based, making rosé champagne’s food pairing potential remarkable. While historically it was regarded as a more frivolous feminine wine, rosé is actually the most ‘masculine’ and gastronomic of champagne styles due to its red wine component. The particular levels of the grapes in the blend will determine other aspects, such as how dry a sip will feel and which food pairings work best – but champagne and seafood always make for delicious pairings.
So which rosé is best suited to herald in the new season? We’ve compiled the most delicious springtime selection to get you chilled and ready for rosé play, whether you’re sipping in the comfort of your own home or painting the town rosé.
The rosé for a glamorous springtime celebration
Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial
Moët Rosé is known for its radiant colour, intense fruitiness and seductive palate. It’s a spontaneous, romantic expression of the Moët & Chandon style, distinguished by its bright fruitiness, seductive palate and its elegant maturity. Whether you’re celebrating at home or popping out and about, this is springtime sipping at its most glamorous.
Available from: R689,95 at select retailers
The rosé to sip the night away – Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé
A sophisticated sip for rosé champagne enthusiasts, Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rosé is a regal choice for your next at-home affair. Not shy on the fruity notes, it’s reminiscent of a medley of berries (strawberry, raspberry, redcurrant) and peaches. Champagne connoisseurs may also notice subtle notes of menthol. The balanced palate combines structure, smoothness and freshness, boasting a persisting finale with a fresh note of blood orange. Perfect for those all-night social gatherings we’re now finally able to have!
Available from: R749 at select retailers
The rosé for springtime sundowners – Veuve Clicquot Rosé
If you like a side of history with your glass of bubbles, consider a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé. In 1818, Madame Clicquot (also known as the Grande Dame of Champagne) created the first known blended rosé champagne – lively, effervescent, with bursts of fruit. Madame Clicquot took over the Clicquot family house after the early death of her husband, Veuve Clicquot founder Philippe Clicquot. The history of this rosé champagne combined with its aroma of fresh red and dried fruits makes it quite the alluring sip. Full bodied and deliciously fruity, with intense flavours of juicy ripe strawberries and cherries, Veuve Clicquot’s Rosé is a burst of red fruits and the expression of Madame Clicquot’s ingenious and audacious spirit.
Available from: R749,95 at select retailers
A rich rosé expression to enjoy on ice – Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé
Serving champagne over ice is sure to garner quite a few side-eyes at your next gathering, but with Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé, you’re encouraged to do exactly that! Created expressly for mixology, it’s a bold, versatile champagne designed to allow champagne fans to create their own playful drinking experience – and awaken the Clicquologist … in anyone! Supported by cellar master Dominique Demarville, specialist mixologists selected ingredients that added a unique twist and magnified the signature notes of the wine. Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé is best enjoyed over ice with fresh ingredients, including lime, pineapple or ginger.
Available from: R929,95 at select retailers
The rosé for balmy spring evenings – Ruinart Rosé
Archives revealed that Ruinart shipped the first rosé champagne over 250 years ago. The exuberant red-fruit flavours make this rosé champagne one of the finest, even now. It’s excellent quality remains the essential feature of the production of this delicate wine to this day. Expect a sophisticated rosé with an intense aromatic profile, perfect to complement dinner in – or out.
Available from: R969,95 at select retailers
The rosé for those who love indulgence – Dom Pérignon Rosé 2006
A bolder expression of its iconic blanc champagne, the 2006 rosé maintains the intensity characteristic of Dom Pérignon, with intriguing aromas of dark spices and candied fruit, and smoky accents. Rose gold, coppery, deep hue. With air, the initially creamy, rich nose gives way to notions of soft, freshly-baked rye crumb and dried blood orange peel. The palate opens with a certain juiciness and fills the senses with its fine mousse.
Available from: R3999,95 at select retailers
The rosé for bold gastronomic experiences – Krug Rosé
For the hedonists among us who endeavour to savour every sip and create bold gourmet experiences, Krug Rosé will surprise you, as it replaces a good red wine at the table with brio. Inspired by the dream of the fifth generation of the Krug family to conceive a rosé champagne that did not yet exist, and one that could be re-created each year, it’s a delicate blend of wines of the year with wines from selected plots of the House’s vast reserve library. This is then completed with traditionally macerated Pinot Noir to add structure and spice and a rest of around seven years in Krug’s cellars gives Krug Rosé its refined elegance and character.