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Veuve Clicquot hosts vertical tasting

Over 25 top wine writers and critics attended a unique vertical tasting of six different releases of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Non Vintage at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London on 8 March. Hosted by Chef de Caves Dominique Demarville, the tasting spanned more than 50 years of Yellow Label winemaking and revealed the quality and consistency of this flagship non vintage champagne.

Six different releases of Yellow Label were revealed by Demarville: base 2007 (not yet release), base 2006 (the current release), base 2004, base 2001, base 1990 and, extraordinarily, base 1953 (fabulous notes of toffee and truffle, yet still fresh).

Dominique Demarville explains: “Although most consumers buy non vintage champagne to drink straight away, the dominant Pinot Noir and around 30% reserve wines in Yellow Label, which can go up to 50% in extraordinary years like in 2003, lend the wine surprising potential for ageing.

"At Veuve Clicquot Pinot Noir has been the driving force in our blends since the creation of the House in 1772: the Pinot Noir Grands Crus of Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay, Ambonnay and Aÿ are the pillars of the blends. These crus bring not only structure and purity of fruit but also longevity. We also hold more stocks of older reserve wines than any other Champagne House, allowing us to bring extra maturity and complexity to the blend. Today, we have 16 different years of reserve wines in our winery. The oldest comes from the Vintage 1988.”

“To create a Yellow Label assemblage each year that reflects the Veuve Clicquot House style is one of my greatest challenges as a winemaker. We start with between 600 and 700 base wines, which can seem a little daunting. However, the quality of each of these components is the secret to creating a wine that has not only the freshness and character required for immediate drinking, but also the complexity and longevity that means it can be savoured and enjoyed after more than 20 years further ageing.”

Elsa Corbineau, marketing director at Moët Hennessy UK, comments: “Since 1772, Veuve Clicquot has been recognized around the world for its famous Brut Yellow Label. This tasting was designed to offer a unique insight to the quality and the consistency of the brand.”



1 March 2011 - Felicity Murray