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Sec & Extra Sec
Sec (or Dry) is rarely seen these days. It can contain anything between 17 and 35 grams per litre of residual sugar, thus ranging between barely sweeter than a Brut and as sweet as a Demi-Sec. Extra-Sec is far more commonly encountered, although only one tasted this year was worthy of recommendation. This style actually overlaps Brut and the dry end of Sec, with between 12 and 20 grams per litre of sugar. These Champagnes can be very useful at the table where savoury dishes contain a certain sweetness or fruitiness.
87 Louis Roederer NV Rich Sec
82 Vollereaux NV Extra Dry
For many years this sweet style, which must have between 35 and 50 grams of residual sugar, has been debased by the vast majority of Champagne producers who have pandered to an unsophisticated sector of French supermarket customers who like to drink sweet. By this I do not mean that sweetness in Champagne or indeed any wine is debasing or that to enjoy sweetness is a sign of poor taste, but there are vast numbers who can only enjoy sweet drinks and cannot taste beyond that sweetness, thus Champagne producers have been able to hide their inferior wines behind a mask of sugar. However, we are gradually seeing a rise in the number of high quality demi-sec produced.
87 Mumm Cordon Vert NV Demi-Sec
85 de Venoge NV Demi-Sec, Cordon Bleu
85 Louis de Sacy 1985 Cuvée Tentation, Demi-Sec
85 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin NV Demi-Sec
85 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 1995 Rich Réserve
83 Jacquart NV Demi-Sec