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Veuve Clicquot launches Cave Privée

Veuve Clicquot has unveiled a "new vintage champagne philosophy" with the re-release of a range of rare, mature vintage champagnes in the Cave Privée Collection – exactly 200 years after Madame Clicquot created the first champagne from grapes of only one harvest

The inaugural Cave Privée offering includes the 20 year old Brut Millesime 1990, the 1980 Vintage and three rare vintage rosés from 1989, 1978 and 1975.

Veuve Clicquot says the idea is to allow connoisseurs to buy exceptional vintages, in different bottle formats, when they are ready to drink, safe in the knowledge they have been cellared in perfect conditions since their creation.

For the last 35 years, limited stocks of Veuve Clicquot’s most outstanding vintages have been kept under lock and key in the house’s private cellar, the Cave Privée, undisgorged and undisturbed, but regularly tasted by cellar master Dominique Demarville to chart their evolution.
Demarville explains: “The best vintage champagne can mature for decades. However, during that maturation period, each wine will reach a number of ‘perfection peaks’ in terms of drinking potential. The Cave Privée Collection allows us to offer limited quantities of our best vintages for sale from our own cellar when they reach those peaks of perfection. Each selection will be disgorged to order and I will create a bespoke dosage liquor for every vintage, with minimal residual sugar to enable the full character of the wine to shine through.”  

Distinct yellow ribbon packaging
All bottles released as part of the Cave Privée are to be given a distinctive presentation.  When Madame Clicquot signed her first Vintage in 1810, bottles were shipped with no labelling.  With her spirit for innovation, she conceived a way to distinguish the different qualities of wines, often shipped in the same wooden crate, by tying a yellow ribbon around the neck of all Vintage bottles.

To reflect the heritage of vintage champagne at Veuve Clicquot, the Cave Privée label has been designed to recall the original Veuve Clicquot vintage label dating from 1893, and each bottle comes in a wooden box complete with a yellow ribbon woven through it. In addition, each bottle is individually numbered on the neck collar, and the back label carries full disgorgement details including the date, the total number of bottles disgorged and the g/l of residual sugar in the dosage liquor.

In future years, further limited numbers of mature vintage champagnes from the Cave Privée will be re-released to the market when Demarville considers them ready for drinking.  A small number of bottles from every future vintage he creates will also be added to the collection for release in 20 or 30 years time.

Sally Warmington, Veuve Clicquot marketing director at Moët Hennessy UK, says: “To coincide with the launch of the Cave Privée, we have also reinterpreted the packaging for our core vintage range.  The signature yellow ribbon is now discretely slipped into the label of each bottle: a yellow thread that links together past, present and future vintages.  New golden, coppery or silver tones on each label help to distinguish the identity of the White, Rich and Rosé vintage wines and each bottle now comes with a brown presentation box recalling the wooden cases in which Madame Clicquot first dispatched her wines throughout the world.”  



1 February 2010 - Felicity Murray