Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Champagne from Pol Roger

Tues 15 April 2008

I was quite excited to read yesterday that Pol Roger are introducing a 'sans dosage' Champagne to the UK market.

You may not be aware of it, but champagne is actually manufactured in various degrees of sweetness. You'll see 'Brut' or even 'Extra Brut' on a label here, but both of these mean that the wine can have up to a certain amount of sugar. 'Sans dosage' (also known as 'zero dosage' and labelled as 'Brut Zero') means that the Champagne has no sugar added* (hmm, I wonder if that makes it healthier?) and that means a drier drink.

The Pol Roger Pure Brut will be available from Harvey Nichols until the end of May for £32.99.

There are a couple of other 'Brut Zero' wines available in the UK, but, as a rule, they are far rarer creatures than their slightly sweeter friends. Worth looking out for if you're interested in trying something a bit different ... and worth knowing about so you're not (perhaps unpleasantly) surprised next time you open a bottle!

Champagne production itself is quite a lengthy and complex process and a good general overview can be found (as ever!) on wikipedia. However, the official site (in English) of Champagne's official body, Le Comité Interprofessional du Vin de Champagne, is just as approachable.

*Legally, Champagnes labelled as Brut Zero may have up to 3g of sugar per litre ... but the human tongue can (on average) only detect sugar at 4g per litre and above.

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Blogger grazza said...

One of the best zero dosage champagnes comes from a small grower/producer called Anselme Selosse. The Jacques Selosse Extra Brut champagne is grand cru chardonnay from his vineyards in Avize, very rich, minerally, think steely Chassagne Montrachet - loads of battonage, then this sharp austere finish. Laurent Perrier also do a very good Ultra Brut.

2:50 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Oh thank you for this ... now I'm tempted to try even more bubbly!

I see that the Laurent-Perrier is pretty widely available (including through Oddbins) and retails around £32.

The Jacques Selosse looks a little more elusive, and appears to retail around £50.

11:45 am  
Blogger grazza said...

The selosse is getting much harder to get hold of. A few years ago he fell out with his american distributor and so he diverted all the stock into the UK, meaning it was much more readily available and quite good pricing. He has now found an american distributor and so they are now getting their allocations back and it has become much more scarce in the UK. Bordeaux Index down in London sometimes get small parcels, as Food and Fine Wine in Sheffield has some occaisionally too.

9:44 pm  

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