2. Veuve Clicquot
Veuve Clicquot sells 19 million bottles annually
Label: Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Non-Vintage
Blend (approx.): 50% Pinot Noir; 20% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay
Reserve wine (%): 30-34
Lees ageing (months): 31-34
Dosage (g/l): 9-9.9
Price (RRP, UK): £40
Size (approx. annual sales, 2015): 19 million bottles
Cellar master: Dominique Demarville
The world’s second biggest Champagne brand sits alongside Moët in the LVHM portfolio, and, like the number one, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label has undergone quality improvements over the last decade – instigated by star winemaker Dominique Demarville, who joined the brand in 2006 and became chef de caves in 2009.
Similar to Moët, Veuve Clicquot has seen its dosage fall by a few grams per litre over the last decade, but has retained its relatively opulent style, a function of the high Pinot Noir content in the blend, as well as high proportion of reserve wine, and more than 30 months spent ageing on its lees in the brand’s cellars.
In June 2015, Veuve Clicquot launched a Champagne designed specifically for mixing in cocktails called Rich
Demarville’s urge to improve the Champagne yet further has seen him increase the emphasis on sustainable viticultural practices, an approach which is also in line with Clicquot’s green positioning – indeed, it is the first brand to use biodegradable gift boxes made from its own grapes.
In the cellar, Demarville has employed a touch of oak, using, since 2008, large wooden casks for fermenting and ageing around 10% of the wines used in the Yellow Label, while also attempting to reduce the quantity of sulphur dioxide employed during winemaking.
Also like Moët, Veuve Clicquot has resisted the demand by some in the trade for a drier, or even bone dry Champagne, but does release very old vintages from its impressive collection with very low dosages under the tag Cave Privée.
Meanwhile, in June 2015, Veuve Clicquot launched a Champagne designed specifically for mixing in cocktails, called “Rich”. With more than 50 g/l of sugar, it has been blended to drink with ice cubes and fruits such as lime and strawberry.
Exactly one year later, this label was joined by a rosé variant.
Brand owner: Moët Hennessy
Head office: 13 Rue Albert Thomas, 51100, Reims, France
Tel: +33 26 89 53 90
Product range: Brut Yellow Label, Rosé, Demi-Sec, Rich, Vintage, Rosé Vintage, Cave Privée, La Grande Dame