As we proudly announced it to you a few days ago, HME Team was recently VIP guested at Veuve Clicquot’s House, in Reims. In the morning, we were ushered right down the cellars. The lightwell from the chalky above us conspicuously indicated the entry of the mysterious place…
Veuve Clicquot Flagship in Reims:
Veuve Clicquot’s museum:
Veuve Clicquot’s impressive Cellar:
There we were. 20-m depth, 240 years of History, 24 kilometers of cellar corridors. Amazing. But awkward. Actually we must confess you feel a bit intrusive, somehow like an interloper breaking the tranquility of the place with mystic whiffs. It seemed as if you would be swallowed up by this underground creature made of tradition and knowhow in the very heart of Nature.
Once inside, the silence is cathedral-like, scarcely disturbed by some woody pallet cracks. Walking along the narrow galleries you could appreciate some dusty relics like export barrels or one of the oldest champagne bottles found in the Baltic sea attributed to Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin (you will be granted an exclusive video interview tomorrow in this connection !). The rooms displaying all the maturing bottles of brand’s star product Grande Dame were exhibition-like. A kind of a museum with liquid pieces of art…
Those exceptional products are manually stired according to an ancestral technique Madame Clicquot invented in the early 1800′s. To this extent, they sharply differ from Veuve Clicquot’s flagship item Carte Jaune which preparation is more industrialy-based because of large quantities.
See the following pics:
Precisely, when you meet people there, from the cellar guide to the wine-grower or radiant Fabienne Moreau (Head of Veuve Clicquot’s historic ressources, see her exclusive interview tomorrow), you can share the same passion Mrs Clicquot was filled with at the very beginning. The same passion that enables the brand to day-to-day honour its famous motto : “Only one quality, the finest” since 1772.
We had the chance to taste of one of the best vintages of the champagne house among them the 2004 Brut Rosé Vintage and 2002 Brut Vintage ( both Reserve). No wonder we were utterly charmed by the first one ! It is extremely complex and is distinguished by great freshness and smartness.
The Vintage Rosé 2004 is comprised of 62% Pinot Noir, 8% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay, completed by an addition of 15% Pinot Noir from the Bouzy vineyards (red wine), one of the most noble wine stocks in Champagne. Its exclusive blend incorporates wines from twenty Grand and Premier Crus, all located in the Montagne de Reims. It is no more than the true symphony of wine, orchestrated by Madame Clicquot in1818 when she blended, for the very first time in Champagne wine-making history, a selection of the finest black and white grapes.
Silky and structured, elegant and fruity, the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé 2004 stands up for its excellent ageing potential of at least 20 years, due to its high level of tannins and polyphenols which are natural antioxidants. It offers a deep pink colour with highlights of copper and delicate, light effervescence. The nose, at first reveals flavours of ripe red fruits that burst on the tongue (essentially raspberry), before gradually giving way to violets, lilacs and light “pastry” notes. A discreet touch of ground coffee can also be distinguished. The attack is forthright and energetic. On the palate, strong notes of fruit recall the refined nose. Besides, the wine also features an astonishingly long finish.
As for theVintage 2002, it consists of 60% Pinot Noir, 7% Pinot Meunier and 33% Chardonnay. The blend incorporates grapes sourced from only 17 crus, all of which are classified as Grands or Premiers Crus. These are located either in the Montagne de Reims or in the Grande Vallée de la Marne for the Pinot Noir, and in the Côte des Blancs where Le Mesnil-sur-Oger represents the best Chardonnay vineyards (Grand Cru). Greatly well-balanced, the Vintage 2002 boasts a brilliant pale yellow colour with lively, long-lasting effervescence. The nose is pure and complex with refined mineral flavours, underlined with flowery notes. Aerating the wine reveals hints of yellow-fleshed fruits and pastry, followed by a touch of spice. In the mouth, the wine is silky, complex and generous with fruity and floral underlined by a hint of minerals and spices, with a touch of menthol and toast.