Veuve Clicquot: the widow’s spice box

6th June, 2013 by db_staff

Dominique Demarville, chef de caves of Veuve Clicquot was in London this week to show three stellar wines from mature vintages that contribute a consistency of style to Veuve’s famous Yellow Label, writes Michael Edwards.

The original Veuve Clicquot

The original Veuve Clicquot

We might call his secret weapon the widow’s spice box, from which the Clicquot team of winemakers dig deep for specific aromas and flavours that add that je ne sais quoi of class to the base wine blend.

Put plainly, the spice box is really Veuve Clicquot’s unmatched “library” of reserve wines going back to 1988. They are kept as still wines, protected from oxidation, in steel tanks.

First up, a Mesnil 2004 with its shimmering lemon hue, green Chardonnay fruits, lovely balance of crispness, tension and subtle, gently surging vinosity.

Then came a superbly built Aÿ Pinot Noir 1998: red fruits from your favourite orchard, cherry and peach; fresher still than the Mesnil; sturdy yet fine and delicately expressive.

Finally, the coup de grace, Cramant 1988: fully developed Welsh gold with the complexity and variegated flavours of a top hillside cru; a pot pourri of vigour, salinity and a soothing hint of honey; perfection and virtually indestructible, with no hint of fatigue at 25 years old.

We finished the tasting with Veuve’s speciality: grown-up rosé as finished Champagnes, which the house has been doing longer than most, since 1822.

The non-vintage rosé was based on the exceptional 2008 vintage: fine fresh rose colour, no copper, and the hedgerow red berries of a Burgundy copse. The vintage rosé 2004 was bigger and stronger with a soaring smell of kirsch; intense, mouth-filling, for venison, salami or pheasant.

La Grande Dame Rosé 2004 represents a complete contrast to the straight vintage: one tastes the chalk in Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin’s finest site, Bouzy Clos Colin; a Champagne in the style of Chambolle Musigny. Finally, the 1989: a miracle of freshness in a heatwave vintage.

“We must look to the future,” said Demarville, “as we aim to get more red wines for rosé from an interesting group of growers who are making some serious stuff. We arranged a trip to Burgundy very recently as a benchmark for tomorrow.” The blushful Hippocrene, indeed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Brand Ambassador – Santa Rita Estates

Santa Rita Estates
London or Hertfordshire but with flexibility to travel, UK

Sales Executive - Wine and Spirits Awards

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

On-Trade Channel Manager

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Trade Marketing Analyst

Delegat Europe (UK)
London, GB

Key Account Executive

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Senior National Account Manager

Conviviality
London, UK

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 31st March 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more