Champagne Veuve Clicquot

DOMINIQUE DEMARVILLE – CHAMPAGNE VEUVE CLICQUOT

Champagne Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin is one of the greatest success stories of the French industrial revolution. Founded by the intermarriage of two middle-class families with a background in textiles and driven to success by the passion and personality of the world’s first female entrepreneur, this remarkably successful Champagne House owns more than 300 hectares of vineyards, which supply about 30 per cent of its grape requirements.

However it is the wine-making team led by talented Dominique Demarville’s trusted relationship with a network of hundreds of growers throughout the region (that is happy to supply its best grapes to Clicquot, knowing they will be made into the best possible wine) that makes this House continue to stand head and shoulders above the rest. Employees refer to this attribute as part of “the Clicquot touch”.

Veuve Clicquot Origami Foldable Champagne Bucket

As part of luxury group LVMH, Veuve Clicquot has also cleverly embraced external merchandising. “Champagne is not like cosmetics – you can’t launch new products all the time,” is a famous quote by former CEO Cecile Bonnefond who was in fact the first woman to run the business since Madame Clicquot herself. Instead, the House has created very high-profile and successful branded spin-offs such as the Yellow insulating ice jacket, the ladies handbag with bottle and two flutes, a picnic hold-all for half bottles, a pink designer ‘love-seat’, an orange Porsche designed ice-bucket and even an orange origami foldable champagne bucket. In 2006, for the launch of its first non-vintage Rosé champagne, Champagne Veuve Clicquot turned the Eiffel Tower pink!

La Veuve Clicquot

Rich, round and powerful just like her wine, Champagne’s most famous widow, Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin Clicquot was a visionary entrepreneur and an incredible force of nature (in business) during a tumultuous period of social unrest and political upheaval, “where the only women with public reputations were prostitutes or queens” [quoted from Tilar Mazzeo’s biography, The Widow Clicquot]. Widowed at the tender age of 27, in spite of all sorts of difficulties, this remarkable young woman managed her business affairs so successfully that she was able to retire ‘après fortune faite’ at age 43, and live in great style and comfort for another 46 years.

Even in the twenty first century, Nicole Barbe Clicquot remains an example to businesswomen everywhere, and her spirit lives on in the Veuve Clicquot Business Women Awards. Created in 1972 to celebrate her bicentenary, the Veuve Clicquot annual awards program brings together women from all walks of life (at the top of their respective professions), to acknowledge and celebrate their courage and entrepreneurship, with regional winners being drawn from 16 different countries.

As Veuve Clicquot explained in a letter to one of her great-grandchildren in the 1860s: “The world is in perpetual motion, and we must invent the things of tomorrow. One must go before others, be determined and exacting, and let your intelligence direct your life. Act with audacity.” Go girl power and champagne!

Of course any Champagne House will always be judged on the quality of its Brut non-vintage because it is in the making of such a wine that the art of champagne blending reveals itself. Veuve Clicquot is no exception, made up of more than 50 different crus.

The Perfect Fizz Food Truck – Clicquot Rolling Diner

CHAMPAGNE VEUVE CLICQUOT TASTING GUIDE

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label

KEY CHARACTERISTICS: Fresh, fruity, full-bodied with rich, round biscuity flavour.

BLEND: 56% Pinot Noir, 28% Chardonnay, 16% Pinot Meunier.

The predominance of Pinot Noir  in the non-vintage blend (combined with a high percentage of reserve wines) provides the structure that is so typically Clicquot, while the Chardonnay adds elegance and finesse, and the touch of Pinot Meunier rounds out the blend, making this a wonderfully fresh, fruity and rich style of champagne (between 25 to 40 per cent reserve wines up to nine years old are added to ensure continuity of House style from year to year).

This is a perfect example of the fine balance between delicacy and power in champagne that never fails to please at any time of day!

 

Veuve Clicquot Rosé

KEY CHARACTERISTICS: Fresh, fruity, full-bodied with rich, round biscuity flavour.

BLEND: 56% Pinot Noir, 28% Chardonnay, 16% Pinot Meunier.

Veuve Clicquot was the first House to produce a Rosé champagne – when founder Philippe Clicquot shipped Rosé champagne to Switzerland in 1775 and began commercialising this style in 1822. Rosé champagne has been in and out of fashion ever since. Well-known already for its vintage Rosé, in 2006, the House decided to capitalise on the renewed consumer interest in this category by launching its first non-vintage Rosé with spectacular results. Between 25 to 40 per cent reserve wines are completed with 12 per cent still red wine. This easy drinking pink champagne, made in pretty much exactly the same style as the classic Yellow Label, has a luminous colour, generous nose and luscious fruity charm on the palate.

 

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame

KEY CHARACTERISTICS: Refined yet powerful, nuts, cream and fruit with incredible length.

BLEND: 64% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay.

Produced with grapes sourced exclusively from Madame Clicquot’s own 100 per cent Grand Cru vineyards (Pinot Noir from Aÿ, Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay and Bouzy; Chardonnay from Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger), this is an extremely elegant and refined interpretation of the Veuve Clicquot style – power and richness wrapped in silk – one of the greatest champagnes being made today.

According to Chef de Caves Dominique Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2004 is “still a teenager” , displaying floral and citrus on the nose followed by lemon chalkiness and creamy toasty notes on a delicate crisp palate. This wine boasts the second highest percentage of Chardonnay in any La Grande Dame blend since the 1988 vintage (which contained 40% Chardonnay).

The first Grande Dame was the 1969 vintage launched in 1977 to commemorate the company’s bicentenary and its sister Cuvée La Grande Dame Rosé (introduced with the 1988 vintage) is the same blend as the original except 15 per cent of red wine from Clos Colin in Bouzy is added into the mix. La Grande Dame is always a fabulous champagne that comfortably holds its own alongside Prestige Cuvées from other Houses.

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