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Grape variety

Blanc de Noirs

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.

Type of grape variety for blanc de noirs champagne

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 that looks white, but is in fact made from red grapes such as pinot noir and pinot meunier, whether blended or not.

Unlike Blanc de Blancs, which has a lively character, with aromas of white fruits and white flowers, Blanc de Noir is powerful, intense and characterized by aromas of red and black fruits. In terms of food and wine pairing, both black and white go well with warm starters and white meats such as poultry.

pinot noir aromas

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

When young, its aromas are essentially fruity, floral and spicy:

  • red fruit: strawberry, cherry, raspberry,
  • black fruits: plum, blackberry, blackcurrant,
  • exotic fruits,
  • apple, cinnamon,
  • flowers such as violets, peonies and roses.

After aging for 3 to 5 years, aromas of :

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

After further aging, the aromas gain in complexity:

  • licorice-like spices, .
  • dried fruit: walnut, hazelnut,
  • empyreumatic aromas reminiscent of burnt or smoky tobacco, cocoa and roasting.

Its ability to age makes it highly prized for vintage cuvées. It is generally blended with Chardonnay.

Aged in oak barrels, it becomes more complex, with woody, even toasty notes.

pinot meunier aromas

The aromas of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir tend to become more complex and richer with age. Pinot Meunier has a strong presence, but is less resistant to ageing. As a result, this grape variety is less sought-after for long-ageing cuvées.

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

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

After aging for 3 to 5 years, the aromas will be of :

  • honey, gingerbread,
  • candied fruit, dried fruit.

After even longer aging, the aromas may evolve towards animal or undergrowth notes.

Spotlight 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 variety brings fruity white fruit aromas such as ripe apple, yellow fruit and dried fruit to champagnes. On the palate, it confers roundness and suppleness. On the other hand, if you're looking for a wine to lay down, you'd be better off with a champagne made from pinot noir.

In fact, pinot noir produces wines that keep much more easily over time. Renowned for its red wines, pinot noir also produces sparkling wines. It is the region's most widely planted grape variety, accounting for 38% of the total.

On the nose, pinot noir champagnes combine accents of fruit, dried fruit and hints of spice, honey, sometimes mocha or smoke. On the palate, Pinot Noir stands out for the power and body it brings to blends.

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

These two grape varieties are therefore at the heart of Blanc de Noirs champagnes, and are sometimes grown in blends.

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