December 1, 2023

Veuve Clicquot Vintage Champagne AOC

Who makes it?

Veuve Clicquot Vintage is just one of this famed Champagne house’s wines. Obviously, there is a great deal of expectation that goes along with a house hold name associated with the refinement of wines of Champagne. The contribution under Madame Clicquot’s time cannot be dismissed.  

I have recently read too that Veuve is working on Coteaux Champenois red wines too. While they are not organic as such, the house strives to use sustainable methods. For instance, they report in 2018 they did not use any herbicides in their vineyards.

How do they make it?

Like most major Champagne houses, Veuve does not make their Vintage wines every vintage. They are made only in the years when the quality level they aim for can be made. In the 2000s so far, Veuve has only released the 2004, 2008, 2012 & 2015.

Each year, the blend will change for Veuve Clicquot vintage. It will generally be 50 – 60% Pinot noir though. With 30-35% Chardonnay and up to 20% Pinot Meunier finishing the blend.  If you want a specific vintage’s blend, best check their website.

It is quite common for the wine to have a small portion, some years 10%, spending time in large oak casks before being blending and bottling for the second ferment. As befitting a Vintage Champagne from a house such as this, the vintage spends around 5 years resting on lees before disgorgement. This adds to the complexity while also keeping the wine fresh and vibrant as the lees does its job of preserving sparkling wines. The dosage is low, around 8 or 9 grams per litre.

What does it taste like?

There is a delicious complexity to be found here. The aromas of toasted spice, baked apple, grilled lemons and some light herbs great you from the glass. It is fuller bodied, with fresh acid that extends the length long into the palate. The wine is intense while still being elegant. On the palate the wine opens up to be a spicy number. There amongst the lemon thyme, citrus, apple and stonefruit, is a distinct creamy pastry character. That is complimented by that nutty toasted character that sprang to life on first smell. 

You can keep this wine for mid term cellaring and it will develop more honey, toasty nuttiness.

What to drink it with?

You can enjoy the Veuve Clicquot Vintage with a wide range of dishes. Without a doubt, seafood is an obvious match. As is chicken and vegetarian dishes. You can reliably match some Asian spices with this wine, and easily beyond salt and pepper seasoned dishes. Even something such as a chicken chilli dish. If you really want to be adventurous, a lighter flavoured red meat wrapped in puff pastry will also match. Such as pork or venison mince flavoured with herbs and chestnuts.

Cheese

An elegant fizz such as this is a classic match for a white bloomy cheese. Champages traditionally match Brie. It may also work for cheese flavoured with herbs, fruits such as cranberry and apricots.

Quickie review « Vintage Champagne should be like a sensation explosion in the mouth and that sums up this Veuve Clicquot.»

Country of Origin:  Champagne AOC, France
Tasting Date: 
October 2023
Price:  UK £70 | €55 | AU$140  | US$80
Drink: now – 10 years 
Needs food: no
Source: tasting

Visit veuveclicquot for more.

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