Differences between Champagne Rosé & Rosé de Saignée

6th September 2021

Rosé de Saignée and Rosé Champagne difference

Anyone for some pink fizz? Rosé Champagne is always a popular option and will delight many faces when poured. Full of red berry fruit delights including such descriptions as ‘strawberries and cream’, rosé Champagne is a popular choice from attending matches at Wimbledon to pairing with fine gastronomical desserts.

What makes Rosé Champagne ‘pink‘?

The are two methods for making rosé Champagne and these are maceration and blending. Maceration is the process of leaving the black grape skins within the grape juice for a period of time (usually 24 – 48 hours) prior to pressing. This allows for the pigment colouring from the skins to colour the grape juice a shade of pink. Blending is where a small amount of red wine from Champagne (usually Bouzy) is added to the grape juice in order to acquire the required rosé colouring.

Different shades of Rosé Champagne:

Depending on quality of grapes from the year / years chosen to the length of time skin contact is in play, the shade of rosé will vary. Many times rosé Champagne is lighter to mid rosé colour thanks to the amount of red wine added (blending) or length of time there is dark grape skin contact (maceration). These shades of rosé can vary between a pale / baby pink up to a rose petal red, it is not uncommon also to see orange colouring.

What is Rosé de Saignée?

A process in order to make darker / deeper rosé coloured Champagne. Rosé de Saignée is the method of taking the rosé juice off the red winemaking process (Champagne region produces also red wine and some are used in order to produce rosé Champagne (blending). Skin contact will be longer usually and flavours / aromas from the red grapes are significantly more prominent.

What is the difference between Rosé Champagne & Rosé de Saignée Champagne?

Apart from the production method discussed above, the noticeable difference will be the shade of rosé in that the ‘rosé de saignée’ Champagne will be much darker than standard rosé Champagne (in most cases). There will also be a difference in aromas and flavours with the rosé de saignée expressing far more Pinot Noir / Meunier characters such as red berry fruits, dark rose petals and even spices.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.