Always disputed between Burgundy and Champagne, it is in 1790 that the three villages of Ricey-Bas, Ricey-Haute-Rive and Ricey-Haut were united in a single municipality, the municipality of Les Riceys, which became a full-fledged champenoise and it was annexed to the department of the Aube (Côte des Bar), raising a lot of controversy at the time for those who felt more akin to Burgundy.
The strong competition and rivalry between Burgundy and Champagne is still visible in the architecture of the houses of the time, equipped with two separate entrances, one from the Champagne side and the other from the Burgundy side and from which the wine was released depending on offers received from one or the other province.
The history of Les Riceys has always been linked to the production of wine and in particular to rosé, appreciated since the time of King Louis XIV (1638-1715) when it was brought to court by the workers during the construction of the Versailles fountain.
Over the centuries, the reputation of Les Riceys Rosé has grown to the point of making it a legendary, rare, precious and inimitable wine, and was consecrated to the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) designation in 1947.
Today Les Ricey consists of 866 hectares of vineyards and is the only wine-growing municipality in Champagne to have three AOC appellations, namely AOC Champagne, AOC Côteaux Champenois and AOC Rosé des Riceys.
The Rosé des Riceys are still rosé wines produced only from Pinot Noir grapes and subjected to a very strict disciplinary, which limits the vinification to the best vintages and imposes a ceiling of 70,000 bottles per year. Characterized by semi-carbonic maceration and vinified in whole bunches, they are characteristic wines with an intense aromatic richness.
The soil of Les Riceys is a Kimmeridgian soil of Jurassic formation and is distinguished by its limestone-marl and limestone-clay structure similar to that of Burgundy, different from the clayey soils of Champagne further north. The composition of the subsoil and the favorable microclimate act on the root system of the plant and on the formation of aromas, conferring mineral hints, elegance and generosity to the wines. On the slopes facing south / south-east the Pinot Noir expresses all its fullness.
In Les Riceys, the Domaine Alexandre Bonnet has become the emblem of this unique terroir: 47 hectares of vineyards dedicated to the elaboration of Champagne, Côteaux Champenois Rouge and Rosé des Riceys. His Rosé de Riceys “La Forêt” 2018, 100% Pinot Noir is a singular wine, a paradox between strength and finesse. The nose is a complex of notes of red fruits, strawberry, cassis, wild strawberries, violet, quince, fresh almonds and peppermint on the finish. The mouth is full and vigorous with silky tannins and surprising length. A great Pinot Noir for gastronomy.
Also Oliver Horiot is among those curious Vignerons who produce Rosé des Riceys. His rosé wines are out of the ordinary, we dare to say among the best in France.
The Rosé des Riceys “En Valingrain”2016 and the Rosé de Riceys “Esquisse n°3” 2009, 100% Pinot Noir from the 2016 and 2009 harvests respectively, stand out for their aromatic richness and finesse on the palate with an extraordinary persistence. Intriguing rosé wines that keep their attachment to Burgundy alive.
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