Its name alone is a poem! Blanc de blancs champagne is made from a single white grape variety, the chardonnay. It is on the Côte des Blancs that Chardonnay is mostly cultivated and it offers the best of itself on this very particular limestone soil. The result is an airy, fresh champagne with notes of elderflower and acacia. A garden in a flute!
To be even more precise, a Blanc de blancs champagne is made exclusively from white grapes, and more specifically from white-skinned grapes. Although Chardonnay is the most commonly used grape variety, some winegrowers use other lesser-known varieties such as Petit Meslier or Pinot Blanc. Hence the “S” in Blancs. Its alter ego is the Blanc de noirs which uses black grapes with white juice (pinot noir, pinot meunier).
The Chardonnay grape variety used to make Blanc de blancs covers only 30% of the Champagne terroir. Rare and precious, it is mostly located a few kilometres from Epernay on the Côte des Blancs and is without a doubt one of the most beautiful Champagne jewels. Born on limestone and mineral soils, Blanc de blancs champagne is characterised by a great freshness in the mouth. Depending on the age, it can present typical aromas of peach, pear and citrus fruits, supported by buttery and brioche notes to conclude with more floral and mineral aromas. It reveals a subtle pale yellow colour with green reflections, topped by a very white foam.
Crystal clear and with a nice tension, the Blanc de blancs champagne is the perfect accompaniment to an aperitif. The finesse of the bubbles and its great freshness do not saturate the mouth before the meal and will on the contrary prepare the palate for the meal that will follow. It goes delicately with all seafood, seafood rillettes, smoked salmon toast, sushi, seafood platters and even the very exclusive caviar.
Blanc de blancs that are vintage or aged longer on slats are often more structured. These are great gourmet champagnes. They can be served with noble white fish dishes such as sole à la dieppoise, grilled shellfish such as lobster or crayfish, sea bass or cod ceviche. It also likes hard cheeses such as a 24 month old Comté or a Cantal between two cheeses. On the other hand, avoid serving a young Blanc de Blancs as a dessert, as it does not go well with small sweets, except perhaps with crunchy almond biscuits.
A white man’s wine deserves all the attention it can get without losing any of its qualities. It should be kept between 11° and 14° in the dark and ideally at a constant temperature. It should be served at between 7° and 9°, so do not hesitate to place it in the bottom of the refrigerator a few hours before serving, or in a champagne bucket filled with ice cubes and water. You can serve it in the traditional champagne flutes as well as in white wine glasses.
Blanc de blancs champagne is a sign of minerality, freshness and purity. When it is marketed, the Champagne is ready to be consumed. It can be kept in optimal conditions for a few years, and evolves with time towards a reinforced maturity.
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