Rosé des Riceys is a still rosé wine they make in Champagne… so it’s from Champagne and there are no bubbles.
Let’s start with a little bit of a geography lesson. Les Riceys is an area in southern Champagne in the Aube or the Cote de Bars region, near the border with Burgundy. The area is actually a collection of three villages – Ricey-Bas, Ricey-Haute-Rive, and Ricey-Haut-Rive – covering around 866 hectares, but only 350 hectares are approved for making Rosé des Riceys.
Rosé des Riceys is…
- a still rosé wine
- made by a very small number of producers
- only in very good years
- and only from pinot noir
It’s a much darker wine than a normal rosé, more like a red burgundy, and it’s only 10-12% alcohol so it’s lighter than most wines.
I didn’t actually get to try a Rosé des Riceys as I didn’t venture to the Aube on my trip – I had to save something for next time. I have had a rosé champagne made from grapes in Les Ricey, but it’s not the same thing.
It’s not surprising that I didn’t try one as this is a really ancient and rare style of wine that can only come from this very small section of the Champagne appellation. The wine from Les Riceys dates back to the 8th century but gained popularity with Louis XIV who was introduced to it while he was building Versailles. Stonemasons from Les Riceys were working on the palace and brought the wines of their region with them and Louis was said to take a shine to them.
Today this style flies under the radar even in France, with only about 60,000 bottles produced in a good year. One of the best known and most highly regarded producers of Rosé des Riceys is Oliver Horoit. When he started making wine, he focused solely on Rosé des Riceys and red wine. He now makes champagne too, but has earned his place as one the best at making the still wines from the area.
Something else unique about Les Riceys is that it is the only wine-growing area in France to be part of three appellations. That means it’s approved to make three different kinds of AOCs: AOC Rosé de Riceys, AOC Champagne, and AOC Côteaux Champenois red wine.
So who knew they made other boozy drinks in the Champagne appellation?
There are actually a few more you can check out here…
Champagne Spirits – Marc de Champagne, Fine de la Marne, and Chardonnay Vodka
If you do visit Champagne, seek out these different options for a bit of variety and don’t forget to tell me about it in comments below or post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute #happychampers on facebook and instagram.
Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country.