Discover Sparkling: Blanc de Blancs

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Vintage Cellars
October 1, 2018
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Blanc de blancs are the perfect spring sparkling wine.

This style of French sparkling white deserves to be appreciated.

Blanc de blancs translates from French literally to "white from white". This is white sparkling wine made exclusively from white grapes, usually chardonnay. Blanc de noirs translates literally from French to "white from black". This is white sparkling wine made exclusively from the dark-skinned grapes pinot noir and/or pinot meunier. This is achieved by gently pressing to remove the juice from the skins before any colour leaches out into the clear juice.

It's worth pointing out the rising significance of chardonnay in sparkling blends. Chardonnay is now Champagne’s most sought-after grape, and its finest vineyards are inflating in value at the same rate as Parisian real estate.

The epicentre of chardonnay in Champagne are the hallowed slopes of the Côte des Blancs. With dramatic slopes, warmer days and thinner topsoils making chalk more accessible than anywhere in the region, the Côte des Blancs produces Champagne’s most regular fruit, and most reliable, exhilarating and mineral-infused wines. This is why many are sold unblended as blanc de blancs. These are among Champagne’s most searingly structured and long-lived wines. There is perhaps no village in Champagne that stands alone as confidently as Le Mesnil-sur- Oger , though Cramant, Avize, Oger and the best sites within the premier cru of Vertus command great respect.

The vast diversity of Champagne styles calls for careful consideration of the right cuvée to sit alongside a dish. Lighter dishes, such as many vegetarian dishes, and crustacea like crabs, scallops and prawns will partner neatly with the elegance of blanc de blancs cuvées.

A glossary of sparkling wine terms

Impress at your next dinner party with these terms and phrases form the experts.
1 Apéritif
A drink to get the tastebuds humming before a meal (sparkling wine fits the bill, naturally!).

2 Autolysis
The breakdown of dead yeast cells during ageing on lees, improving mouthfeel and contributing
biscuity, bready characters.

3 Bead or mousse
Bubbles! The best sparkling wine always has tiny bubbles, the product of the finest juice fermented in cold cellars.

4 Chef de cave
Champagne winemaker.

5 Cuvée
An individual blend or style. Also refers to the first juice that flows from the grapes in the press,
producing the most pure, pristine wines.

6 Grower-producer
A Champagne producer who makes wines from fruit grown only on their own vineyards. Just 5% of fruit can be purchased.

7 Lees
The sediment that settles in the bottom of a tank, barrel or bottle, primarily made up of dead yeast cells.

8 Minerality
The texture and mouthfeel of a wine derived from its soil.

9 Muselet
Wire cage that holds a Champagne or sparkling cork in the bottle.

10 Négociant-manipulant

Champagne producer who purchases grapes and/or unfinished wines. A négociant may also include up to 95%
estate-grown fruit in its wines.

11 Non-vintage (NV)
A sparkling wine containing wine from more than one vintage. Prestige cuvée The flagship Champagne or
Champagnes of a brand, typically the most expensive.

12 Vintage
The year that the grapes are harvested.

Discover the range of Blanc de Blancs at Vintage Cellars today.