Champagne & Sparkling

Veuve Clicquot

  • Founded in 1772, Veuve Clicquot is among the most prestigious Champagne Houses. Its extensive holdings, many originally purchased by Madame Clicquot, stretch throughout the top-rated areas of the Champagne region and are exceptional in size and quality. As in Madame Clicquot’s day, bottles age in the House’s vast, vaulted cellars in Reims, portions of which were constructed some 2,000 years ago by the Romans.

    The remarkable Madame Clicquot (1777- 1866) is considered one of the first businesswomen of the modern era. Widowed in 1805 at the age of 27, Madame Veuve Clicquot (born Ponsardin) defied every convention of the day to take the helm of her late husband’s small Champagne House. She personally supervised cellar activities and introduced innovative production techniques still used today. Champagne Veuve Clicquot is known internationally for its classically styled and full-bodied Champagne.

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  • In 1772, the intentions of the House founder, Philippe Clicquot, were clear. He put an advertisement in the Gazette de France announcing that he was "founding a wine merchant business in Champagne, under the label Clicquot" and that he was offering to go to all four corners of the kingdom to take the fine taste of champagne wines to foreigners (the House was officially founded February 3, 1772). The House's destiny was sealed with these objectives, which were soon achieved during his many expeditions to Italy, then Germany, and Switzerland the following year, then Russia in 1780 and the United States in 1782.

    Since its inception, the house has been a specialist in Champagnes that are based on the Pinot Noir grape, particularly rosés (Clicquot was producing rosé as earlier as 1775).

    In 1798, François Clicquot (the son of the founder) married Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin (daughter of the mayor of the Champagne village of Reims). Madame Clicquot was widowed in 1805 at the age of 27 when her husband died of fever. Veuve Clicquot ("veuve" means "widow" in French and rhymes with 'love') took over her husband's business, unheard of at the time. From then on Madame Clicquot’s business methods - from risky overseas ventures to revolutionary technological innovations - forever changed the Champagne industry as a whole. In 1810, she renamed the house Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and introduced the first vintage champagne.

    The Embargo
    One of Mme. Clicquot’s riskiest ventures was sending secret shipments of her Champagne to Russia in 1814 in defiance of Napoleon's embargo. She knew that her Russian customers were her most important because Russia’s court was the most prestigious in Europe and the Russians were reputed to be great lovers of Champagne. The first vintage Mme. Clicquot shipped to Russia was the famous 1811 vintage also known as “the year of the comet” for The Great Comet of 1811, which was visible for 18 months. Not only was 1811 an exciting year in astronomy, but it was one of the most well regarded Champagne vintages of the 19th century.

    In the end, Mme. Clicquot’s repeated efforts to expand the market in Russia paid off with Clicquot becoming the market leader there. Veuve Clicquot was instrumental in developing export markets worldwide. Revenue gained from that success in Russia was instrumental in financing the purchase of large pieces of the finest vineyard property in Champagne. These extensive vineyard holdings continue to distinguish Veuve Clicquot today.

    In 1816, Mme. Clicquot invented a process called rémuage or riddling, which proved to be an important step in dégorgement (where the spent yeast sediment leftover from secondary fermentation is ejected from the bottle). Before this time, Champagne was cloudy due to this sediment. Mme. Clicquot cut holes in her kitchen table, creating a rack for the bottles to sit upside down. She then perfected the method of slowly tilting and turning the bottles just a little bit everyday for a long period of time. Thanks to gravity, the spent yeast collected in the neck of the bottle. Once the sediment settled, it could be removed by freezing of the bottle’s neck in salt water, removing the cork and releasing the yeast. Then the bottle could be recorked and the Champagne would be clear.

    After the Widow
    In 1841, Edouard Werlé took over for Mme. Clicquot, but she continued to play a lively role until her death in 1866 at the age of 89.

    With the 1873 vintage, Veuve Clicquot launched their iconic yellow colored label. This label was legally trademarked in 1877.

    Expansion of the vineyard holdings continued under M. Werlé’s son, Alfred, who took over in 1884.

    Despite the widespread devastation of phylloxera, two World Wars and the Great Depression, Champagne Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin continued to grow throughout the twentieth century and remains a dominant force in Champagne today. The company went public in 1963 and merged with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy in 1986. Throughout this period, its quality and reputation have continued to grow.

    The first landmark vintage of La Grande Dame, 1966, was released in 1972 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the house and La Grande Dame Rosé was introduced in 1996 with the 1988 vintage. The 'La Grande Dame' moniker was given to Madame Clicquot by her competitors during her lifetime.

    Currently, Dominique Demarville is the chief winemaker at Veuve Clicquot.

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  • The Vineyards

    Veuve Clicquot has some of the most extensive vineyard holdings of any Champagne producer, 382 hectares (944 acres) in the finest areas in the region:

    Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are grown at Mailly, Verzenay, Louvois, Bouzy (including the renowned Clos Colin and Champs Ferres for Pinot Noir), Ambonnay, Aÿ, Verzy, Mareuil-sur-Ay, Villers-Marmery, Ludes, Pargny-les Reims, Ville-Dommange and Saint-Thierry.

    Chardonnay is grown at Cramant, Avize, Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Villers-Marmery, and Vertus.

    These vineyards and grapes have been very well documented. For example, Veuve Clicquot has kept harvest journals from every year since their founding in 1772 - this is part of their incredible archive of historical documents and their amazing know-how in producing wines from these fine vineyards.

    The Style
    Stylistically, Veuve Clicquot is known for four major pillars that influence the style of their wines.

    The Power of Pinot Noir: Veuve Clicquot has long been a specialist in working with pinot noir and prides themselves on using at least 50-55% of pinot noir in every wine produced. Unlike other houses, they tend to use a very small percentage of the other black grape in the region, pinot meunier.

    Complexity: There is a complexity in these wines that come from a few factors. One is a the use of a high percentage of reserve wines, often up to 50% in the non-vintage blends. Secondly, these reserve wines can also be quite old as well. All of this brings a depth and complexity to the wines that make them unique and contribute to the distinctive Clicquot style.

    Classification: The vineyards used by Veuve Clicquot have very high ratings in regards to the Echelle des Cru classification - 96.9%.

    Long Aging: In addition to the pinot noir and high amount of reserve wines, the wines are aged in the cellar for extended periods of time. For non-vintage, the wines are aged 30 months minimum (twice the legal requirement) and vintage is aged 5 years minimum (3 years is the legal minimum).

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  • Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
    Veuve Clicquot's signature brut non-vintage is loved the world over for its crisp, full flavors, consistent quality and celebratory yellow label. A perfect balance, founded on the strength of Pinot Noir, rounded by a touch of Pinot Meunier and balanced with the freshness of Chardonnay.
    No fewer than 50 to 60 different crus make up this cuvée. The traditional proportions for Yellow Label are:
    50-55% Pinot Noir
    15-20% Pinot Meunier
    28-33% Chardonnay
    (25-40% Reserve Wine)
    30-36 months in the cellar

    Veuve Clicquot Rosé
    Veuve Clicquot was the first champagne house to commercialize rosé champagne in 1775 and, once again, takes center stage with its first nonvintage rosé. This fresh young wine is now a fully-fledged member of the champagne world after having slowly matured in our cellars as well as in the minds of our winemakers. Our non-vintage rosé is the end result of a desire to create a rosé champagne with a delightfully luscious, fruit-based charm. The cellarmaster and his team wanted a champagne that would be accessible and naturally engaging while conserving Veuve Clicquot's essential values in terms of style.

    No fewer than 50 to 60 individual crus make up this cuvée which is based on Brut Yellow Label’s traditional blend. The traditional proportions are:
    50-55% Pinot Noir
    15-20% Pinot Meunier
    28-33% Chardonnay
    (25-40% vins de réserve)

    Completed with 12% of red wine from vineyards in the Montagne de Reims area, using Pinot Noir grapes specially raised and selected to give a marvellous balance to this rosé.

    Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec
    Boasting a brilliant yellow colour with deep golden highlights, this wine offers delicate bubbles and an intense nose of ripe fruit with hints of brioche.
    It is supple and full on the palate, while preserving its delightful, inherent freshness. After cellaring for two to three years, the Demi-Sec will take on even richer notes of praline. When serving Demi-Sec, connoisseurs continue a tradition unique to the Champagne region: they offer Veuve Clicquot in a decanter. A French style of life that celebrates the refined Epicurean.

    No fewer than 50 individual crus make up this cuvée. The traditional proportions for Demi-Sec are:
    40 to 50% Pinot Noir
    30 to 35% Pinot Meunier
    20 to 25% Chardonnay
    (20-25% vins de réserve)

    The higher level of dosage at the time of disgorging (45 grams/liter) gives a sweeter balance of flavors while respecting the wine’s inherent freshness. The addition of 20 to 30% of reserve wines ensures the Veuve Clicquot style.

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  • Veuve Clicquot Vintage
    The term vintage in Champagne describes wines blended from grapes harvested in the same vintage or exceptional year. The Veuve Clicquot House signed the first Vintage wine to be produced in Champagne in 1810, thereafter becoming famous for its mythical wines.

    Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004, the House's 64th vintage, is a perfect opportunity to pay tribute to Roger Zèches, Cellar Master from 1941 to 1969. Between September 23rd and October 13th, we harvested some very fine grapes in excellent conditions of health. The Vintage 2004 has a generous freshness; the Pinot Noir intensifies its role, lending body to a tense, very lively wine. An exclusive blend of about twenty Grands and Premiers Crus.
    Dosage: 7g/l.
    62% Pinot Noir
    8% Pinot Meunier
    30% Chardonnay

    Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé
    The Vintage Rosé 2004 has a deep pink colour with coppery, luminous glints. The first nose is dominated by elegant aromas of red berry (redcurrant, blackcurrant) and firm fruits (wild strawberry, red plum, cherry) along with fragrant hints of violet and lilac and autumnal notes (dried fruit, Spanish membrillo and dried fig), together with a light touch of ground coffee or cocoa. In the mouth, the fruitiness echoes the superb notes of the nose and is particularly intense. The finish is extraordinarily long. The subtle balance of structure, suppleness and freshness offers this wine an ageing potential of at least 20 years.

    Composed from about 20 crus, this wine is made up of 62% Pinot Noir, 8% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay, to which has been added 15% of red wine (Pinot Noir Grand Cru) from the Bouzy vineyard. The dosage is 9 g/l.

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  • Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame
    Born of a tradition of excellence and the weight of time, the prestigious Grande Dame is the ultimate expression of the Veuve Clicquot style. Created from a blend of eight of Veuve Clicquot's historic Grand Crus (vineyards that Madame Clicquot purchased herself) and aged for an extended period in the ancient chalk cellars. Harmonious and noble this wine is silky on the palate, with dynamic flavors, impeccable balance and an extremely long finish.

    La Grande Dame 2004
    With the exceptionally fine weather conditions in September, the grapes ripened beautifully. Harvesting, which took place from 23 September to 13 October, resulted in some fine, perfectly healthy grapes. The Pinot Noir wines are fruity and full-bodied; the Chardonnay wines have a lot of distinction.
    61% Pinot Noir
    39% Chardonnay

    An exclusive blend of our 8 traditional Grand Crus: Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy, Verzenay, Avize, Oger, Le Mesnil sur Oger.
    Dosage: 8 g/l

    Tasting Notes: The colour is luminous, sparkling gold with amber highlights. There is plenty of effervescence. The fine, light bead swirls up slowly and gracefully. The first nose reveals a definite mineral base, with noble fruit (white peaches, bergamot) and remarkable intensity.
    On agitating, the bouquet becomes gourmand and voluptuous with hints of brioche, nougat, apricot, vanilla, frangipane and jasmine.

    On the palate, there is plenty of body and substance. The texture is crisp and silky. The chalky mineral note resonates magnificently with this full-bodied structure and intensifies the lengthy persistence. The Verzenay/Avize duet (the two dominant crus in this blend of 8 grand crus) takes on its full dimension. The finish is fresh and generous, indicating a light dosage that does nothing to disturb the wine’s natural balance.

    Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rosé
    La Grande Dame Rosé is produced only from the eight grand cru vineyards Madame Clicquot purchased in her lifetime, with still Pinot Noir from their Clos Colin vineyard in Bouzy, a grand cru vineyard especially favored by Madame Clicquot.

    La Grande Dame Rosé 2004
    The color of this champagne is luminescent and coppery pink with amber highlights. The nose reveals a solid mineral structure and fruit (white peach, raspberry, and blueberry) with a remarkable intensity. On the palate, it is fullbodied, crisp and silky with the red wine from Bouzy adding a majestic foundation and potential for ageing.
    61% Pinot Noir (15% red wine from Clos Colin in Bouzy)
    39% Chardonnay

    An exclusive blend of our 8 historic Grands Crus: Aÿ, Bouzy, Ambonnay, Verzy, Verzenay, Avize, Oger, Le Mesnil sur Oger.
    Dosage: 8 g/l

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