Rosé champagne is champagne with a pink or light red color, as opposed to “normal” champagne that is always white (or rather gold) whether produced with white or red skin grapes.
The rosé color is achieved by gently squeezing the (red) grapes so that the skinks transfer very little of their pigments to the must doesn’t get any red taint. Yet, if the red skins are left in contact with the juice long enough, this will turn pink (or red if you leave them even longer). This is the saigneé method and is quite complex to master as the amount of time the skins are left in the juice is critical to achieving the desired tone of pink.
This is why most of the time, a small amount of still red wine–produced in Champagne–is instead added to the blend to achieve the desired pink shade.
Rosé champagne is usually brut but could be of any dosage category, and it can be vintage or non-vintage. Because of the red wine added, they usually carry more intense red fruit notes, but for some of them, you could not make the difference with brut if you were to taste them in black glass.
Among the most appreciated rosé champagnes is Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé, deservedly so. I am more and more a fan of rosé champagne and find it the perfect wine to match pork dishes, on simply at aperitif in the summer sun.
My current favorites are Bruno Paillard Rosé Première Cuvée–a true killer–Duval-Leroy Rosé Prestige, Gosset Grand Rosé, and the much, much less affordable Dom Pérignon Rosé (2000), the best rosé champagne I have ever tasted.