The State of BRUT NV – December 2016

SPEC’s sells a lot of Champagne. And well over two-thirds of that Champagne is labeled Brut Non-Vintage (Brut NV). Brut Non-Vintage from the grand marque producers is far and away the best selling sort of Champagne but it is not what gets the most attention. The wine press and the wine-geek community are more focused on Rosé, on Farmer Fizz, and on the fancier tête de cuvées or luxury blends. Nevertheless, Brut Non-Vintage is the horse that pulls the Champagne wagon and is, based on the sheer numbers, what most Champagne drinkers are drinking.rothschild1

A Little BRUT NV Background:
With a dosage giving it a residual sugar content of less than 1.5%, “Brut”, the second driest style of Champagne (only un-dosed or “natural” Champagne is drier and it is very often too dry), strikes the right balance between fruitiness and acidity. That little bit of unfermented sugar is necessary to balance the natural tartness of the grapes grown in cool northern terroirs. As brut is far and away the best selling style of Champagne, it is clear that the market has stated that “we like our Champagne dry … but not bone dry.”

So, what about the “Non Vintage?” The vast majority of Champagne produced does not carry a vintage date and about 87% of all the real Champagne Spec’s sells is sold without a vintage.  (Keep Reading)

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