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The champagnes use this denomination for the wines resulting exclusively from the vines pinot noir or pinot meunier or both in assembly. They are characterized by the strength of the first and/or the fruitiness of the second.

Discover in this category, our favorites and recommendations of Champagnes from winemakers and Champagne Houses in terms of Champagne Blanc de Noirs.

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Type of grape variety for Champagne Blanc de Noirs

Blanc de noirs: This expression is used in Champagne and identifies the type of grape used in the blending process. Blanc de noirs refers to champagne, which looks white and is in fact composed of red grape varieties such as pinot noir and pinot meunier, blended or not.

Unlike Blanc de Blancs which is marked by a lively side, with aromas of white fruits and white flowers, Blanc de Noir is powerful, intense and characterized by aromas of red and black fruits. As far as food and wine pairings are concerned, the black and white go well with hot starters and white meats such as poultry.

the aromas of pinot noir

Pinot Noir is the most planted grape variety in Champagne. Although sensitive to frost, it is sought after for its aromas and finesse. 

When young, it will display essentially fruity, floral and spicy aromas:

  • red fruits : strawberry, cherry, raspberry,
  • black fruits : plum, blackberry, blackcurrant,
  • exotic fruits,
  • apple, cinnamon,
  • flowers such as violet, peony or rose.

After an ageing of 3 to 5 years, aromas of :

  • dried fruits : fig, date or raisin,
  • wild berries,
  • stewed fruits, ripe fruits.

After a more important ageing, the aromas will gain in complexity:

  • licorice-type spices, .
  • dried fruits: walnut, hazelnut,
  • Empyreumatic aromas reminiscent of burnt or smoked smells of blond tobacco, cocoa, roasting.

Its ageing capacity makes it popular for vintage wines. It is generally blended with Chardonnay.

When aged in oak barrels, it becomes more complex with woody and even toasted notes.

the aromas of pinot meunier

The aromas of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir tend to become more complex and richer with time. Those of Pinot Meunier are very present but less resistant to aging. Thus, this grape variety will be less sought after for vintages with prolonged aging.

A young champagne made with Pinot Meunier is characterized by aromas of :

  • red fruits such as wild strawberries,
  • white fruits such as apple,
  • stone fruits such as apricot, mirabelle, peach or nectarine.

After an ageing of 3 to 5 years, the aromas will be of :

  • honey, gingerbread,
  • candied fruits, dried fruits.

After a longer period of time, the aromas may evolve towards animal or undergrowth notes.

Light on the grape varieties of Blanc de Noirs champagne

How to recognize it ? Pinot Meunier produces wines that are pale to the eye. On the nose, this grape variety brings to champagnes fruity aromas of white fruits such as ripe apple, yellow fruits and dried fruits. On the palate, it confers a great roundness and suppleness. On the other hand, if you wish to acquire a wine for ageing, you should rather turn to a champagne made from pinot noir. 

Indeed, the pinot noir produces wines that can be kept much more easily over time. Renowned for its red wines, it also produces sparkling wines. It is the most planted grape variety in the region and represents 38% of the vineyard. 

On the nose, pinot noir champagnes combine accents of fruit, dried fruit and touches of spice, honey, sometimes mocha or smoke. On the palate, Pinot Noir is distinguished by the power and body it brings to blends. 

Many prestigious cuvées favor it, unless they favor Chardonnay. In addition to the blanc de noirs and blanc de blancs champagnes, many champagnes blend pinot noir with chardonnay; a formula used by many regional crémants and sparkling wines around the world. 

These two grape varieties are therefore at the heart of Blanc de Noirs champagne, and are sometimes grown in a blend.