You know it has been a good tasting when you go to empty the spittoons and there is nothing in them to empty! I have long been a fan of Veuve Clicquot, so I had a good feeling going in to this tasting and it did not disappoint. We were lucky enough to have Nicola here (our local rep) to walk us through these wines and her passion and knowledge is palpable.
Clicquot is all about firsts. When Madame Clicquot took over the running of this illustrious Champagne House at the tender age of 27 in 1805, she was the first woman to run a Champagne House. Her contributions to the world of wine are still being used to this day. She invented riddling to get the dead yeast lees out of the bottle, making the wine less cloudy in a much speedier fashion. Madame Clicquot was also the first to make a blended Rose Champagne; now most Grande Marque houses make Rose in this fashion to this day.
These days, Veuve Clicquot continues to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Their marketing is second to none and the bright orange/yellow livery (another first from Madame) stands out from all the other labels. Luckily for us, it is not just bells and whistles. They lavish care and attention on their product and it shows.
The NV was well balanced and shows great finesse. There is a reason it is always in our top 2 when we put it in a blind tasting! The Rose on Madame Clicquot’s 200th anniversary was conducting herself with aplomb, this was one of my favourites of the night. We then followed with the 2008 Reserve and 2008 Reserve Rose and what a treat they were, still very much in the Veuve Clicquot style but deeper and richer and meant for a longer life. We finished with Extra Old and the jewel in the crown La Grande Dame 2006 the extra old consists of six different vintages from 2010 back to 1988, the wine is then double-aged, three years on lees in vats, then three years secondary fermentation in the bottle. Fresh, creamy, concentrated, refined. The Grande Dame was exceptional a silky classic. 53% Pinot Noir and 47% Chardonnay in sublime balance, the refined palate of honeyed, toasty stonefruit, almond and brioche checked by vibrant acidity. Great length from an opulent vintage.