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Oeil De Perdrix

The Oeil De Perdrix… A Special Kind Of Rosé Champagne

Oeil de Perdrix is a special type of rosé champagne which is actually very historic. But I’d never heard of it before my trip in June/July (2018).

So we know that champagne is a clear wine… unless you make a rosé champagne (if you don’t know this, catch up here). When they press the grapes, winemakers go to great lengths to avoid the grape skin coming into contact with the grape juice because the skin is where the red/pink colour comes from.

Well an Oeil de Perdrix is actually made when they DO let the red skins have contact with the juice. Hundreds of years ago before winemakers were intentionally making a rosé champagne, the champagnes they produced were tinted pink from the grape skins. The technique to make an Oeil de Perdrix dates back to these times, before they had the techniques available today, using a direct pressure method. The short skin contact turns the juice a very pale pink colour or a very delicate amber, which is apparently the colour of the “eye of a partridge”. The name Oeil de Perdrix means “eye of partridge” in French.

I first discovered the Oeil de Perdrix champagne visiting the house which is famous for producing Oeil de Perdrix today, Champagne Jean Vesselle in Bouzy. (Bouzy is a famous Grand Cru pinot noir village, especially well regarded for red wine to blend into rosé champagne). So well-known is the Jean Vesselle Oeil de Perdrix that by my visit they had sold out of their entire stock. But I had a lovely chat with Delphine, the wine maker, and decided I just had to come back and try it next visit.

And then I got to try my first Oeil de Perdrix the following morning at Champagne Philippe Martin in Cumières (a premier cru village known for its pinot meunier).

Oeil De Perdrix

The champagne style is quite uncommon and my photos don’t do it justice… the image below is the best I could find to show the colour of the champagne from Jean Vesselle.

Can you get your hands on an Oeil de Perdrix in Australia? Honestly, it’s bloody hard to find one, BUT it just so happens that Emperor Champagne currently stocks the Dehours & Fils La Croix Joly Oeil de Perdrix Extra Brut Rosé for $119.

So who knew they made other boozy drinks in the Champagne appellation?

There are actually a few more you can check out here…

Rosé de Riceys... a still rosé wine they make in Champagne

Coteaux Champenois

Ratafia de Champagne

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.

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AUD: Australian dollar (AUD$)