For my full article on Bloomberg.com, click here.
Veuve Clicquot has started marketing a five-vintage Extra Brut Extra Old Champagne made from its reserve wines which have spent at least three years in vats on lees and another three years in bottle in its cellars.
The wines, blending vintages from 2010, 2008, 2006, 1996 and 1988, comprise 47 percent Pinot Noir, 27 percent Chardonnay and 26 percent Pinot Meunier, and make use of its reserve wines to produce a Champagne that has both purity and also length of finish, according to Cellar Master Dominique Demarville, who was interviewed during its London launch. It's on sale in the U.K. for 69 pounds ($86) a bottle.
Veuve Clicquot has been making Champagne for more than two centuries, since 1772, when Louis XV was on the French throne and his court was installed at Versailles. While in that context 1988 may seem fairly recent, in Champagne terms wines with 20 to 30 years of aging, even if only present in the blend in small quantities, are designed to bring weight and pedigree.
The choice of full-bodied wines for the blend have enabled Veuve Clicquot to keep the dosage at the very low level of just 3 grams a liter, according to the Champagne house.