The very mention of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and its distinct yellow label evokes a sense of luxury and rich winemaking heritage.
This prestigious Champagne house shot into fame in the early 1800s under the legendary Madame Clicquot who pioneered several firsts in Champagne-making. It is one of the largest Champagne houses today, and is as popular in pop culture as it is among wine critics!
This article explores the Veuve Clicquot Champagne house in detail - its history, superb vineyards, impeccable winemaking credentials, and the best Veuve Clicquot wines to invest in 2021 (including the Veuve Clicquot Brut.)
Also, find out a super-easy way to invest in these Champagnes.
This Article Contains
- A Quick Intro To Veuve Clicquot
- A Brief History Of Veuve Clicquot
- The Magnificent Veuve Clicquot Vineyards
- 1998 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Riva Collection, Champagne, France
- 1989 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut Rose, Champagne, France
- 1979 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Cave Privee Collection Brut Rose, Champagne, France
- 1975 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 'Royal Celebration Cuvee' Brut, Champagne, France
- Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Stingray Skin, Champagne, France
- Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Ostrich Skin, Champagne, France
- Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Alligator Skin, Champagne, France
- 1982 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Cave Privee Collection Brut, Champagne, France
- 2012 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Yayoi Kusama, Champagne, France
- 1996 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Emilio Pucci, Champagne, France
- Should You Invest In Veuve Clicquot Champagne?
- Buy Rare Veuve Clicquot And Other Fine Collectibles Through Vinovest
A Quick Intro To Veuve Clicquot
The Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne house is situated in Reims, Champagne.
Its classic wines are produced from a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. However, Pinot Noir is the star grape, with some of the winery’s vintage offerings having 90% Pinot Noir in the blend.
The House produces a range of vintage and non-vintage Champagnes - the most famous being the Yellow Label non-vintage wines. The La Grande Dame, Extra Brut Extra Old (made entirely from reserve wines), and the vintage Yellow Label wines are also considered to be on par with top French bubblies like Moet & Chandon.
These wines are very often lauded by leading wine critics and magazines like Wine Spectator.
So, how did it all begin?
A Brief History Of Veuve Clicquot
The Champagne house was founded by textile merchant Philippe Clicquot in 1772 (as a side-business.) He then passed it to his only son, Francois Clicquot.
After Francois’s unfortunate death, his widow, Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin (aka Madame Clicquot), took over the Champagne house in 1805.
Madame Clicquot was an audacious businesswoman who, with the help of her father-in-law (and some wine smuggling to Russia), brought worldwide fame to this Champagne brand. In fact, the brand is named after her - Veuve Clicquot means “widow Clicquot” in French.
Here are some of her pioneering initiatives:
- In 1810, Madame Clicquot created the first recorded vintage Champagne of the region.
- In 1814, she shipped 10,550 bottles of Champagne to Saint-Petersburg, popularizing it in the Russian market.
- She also invented the brilliant riddling table in 1816.
- In 1818, she created the first-ever ‘Rose d’Assemblage’ by blending some of the red wines made in the Bouzy village with her sparkling wine.
Under Madame Clicquot, the Champagne house that had an annual sale of barely 10,000 bottles started exporting 750,000 bottles annually.
Clicquot registered its first Yellow Label trademark in the late 19th century. And, in 1909, it acquired the Crayeres quarries to set up chalk cellars to hold their reserve wines. Today, these cellars hold 400 reserve wines from 17 vintages.
In 1986 Louis Vuitton acquired Veuve Clicquot.
Today, the Champagne house produces 1.5 million cases of wine every year.
The Magnificent Veuve Clicquot Vineyards
Veuve Clicquot owns 390 hectares of superb vineyards divided into 12 Grand Crus and 20 Premier Crus. They are planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir grape varieties.
The chalky soils maintain the perfect balance of heat and moisture - the secret behind Clicquot’s rich Yellow Label Brut Champagne and other bottles.
The cool climate and moderate rainfall in these superb vineyards bring a unique freshness to the grape and the Yellow Label wine.
Also, the optimal location of the Grand Crus and Premier crus exposes them to maximum sunlight. That’s why the moody Pinot Noir grape has attained its best expression in these vineyards.
Veuve Clicquot Winemaking Techniques
The winemaker processes the grapes from each plot separately, ensuring each varietal reaches its best expression.
Here are some of the other steps in the winemaking process:
- The wine’s acidity is tamed through malolactic fermentation.
- The cellar master tastes the varietals to determine the perfect blend before bottling the white wine with yeast.
- The bottle is then laid horizontally and, depending on the Veuve Clicquot style, it is aged on lees for 5-7 years. Non-vintages are aged for 30 months.
- After this, the bottle is sent to the riddling table, where it is turned at regular intervals, so the sediment settles at the neck of the bottle.
Finally, the winemaker disgorges the Veuve Clicquot wine (freezing it to push the sediments out) and conducts liqueur d’expedition. In liqueur d’expedition, the dryness of the wine is balanced by a little sweetness.
Veuve Clicquot Champagne Styles
Veuve Clicquot produces six different Champagnes.
1. Brut Yellow Label
The Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is a stellar example of the high quality of Veuve Clicquot winemaking.
The Yellow Label bottle is a blend of 30-45% reserve wines and the fruit from 50-60 different crus. The Yellow Label blend is dominated by Pinot Noir, with moderate Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grape varieties.
Aged for a minimum of 3 years, the wine has smooth finesse on the palate.
The winery’s vintage offerings of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label wines are admired for their aromatic intensity and the perfect balance of flavor and aromas.
The Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne has notes of musky orchard fruits like brioche (and toasty brioche) and rich ripe pears. This predominant Pinot Noir bubbly is a perfectly balanced wine that has discreet aromas of grapefruit zest and grated ginger.
The Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label sparkling wine is often praised by critics and wine magazines like Wine Spectator.
2. La Grande Dame
Alongside the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, this sparkling wine is admired for its perfect balance of finesse and elegance - a brilliant tribute to the legacy of Madame Clicquot.
Predominantly a Pinot Noir wine, it has 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay in the blend.
3. Champagne Rose
Madame Clicquot created the first Rose Champagne from a blend of the traditional Brut Yellow Label and still red wine. The color and flavor of this Rose Champagne are a result of the added red wine.
4. The Rich Collection
Veuve Clicquot Rich is a sparkling white wine made from a blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 15% Chardonnay.
This Veuve Clicquot Champagne style was specially created for Champagne cocktails. Its mineral accented nose will perfectly balance a cocktail’s fruity aroma.
5. Champagne Demi-Sec
It is produced from the traditional Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label blend - but is sweeter with more fruit flavor. The wine showcases a perfect balance of sweet flavors - a brilliant food pairing for desserts.
6. Extra Brut Extra Old
The Extra Brut Extra Old is a Cuvee that only has two vintage wines - 2013 and 2019.
This Veuve Clicquot Brut is a blend of old reserve wines that showcases Clicquot’s elegant house style and the winemaker’s impeccable winemaking credentials.
The old reserve wines give this Veuve Clicquot Brut gently spicy notes.
Best Veuve Clicquot Wines In 2021 (Including Tasting Notes, Prices)
Here are some Clicquot Champagnes that must be a part of every wine lover’s wishlist.
1. 1998 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Riva Collection, Champagne, France
This Veuve Clicquot Brut is predominantly a Pinot Noir wine with expressive aromas of the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label vintage wines.
This 1998 vintage is a perfectly balanced wine admired for its rich aromas. The palate has refreshing acidity with poached pear, dried fig, and brioche fruit flavor.
Price of 1998 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Riva Collection, Champagne, France: $958
2. 1989 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut Rose, Champagne, France
A golden yellow wine, this Veuve Clicquot Brut vintage makes an excellent wine for a gift box.
The nose of this Rose Champagne has a ripe fruit flavor with apple, brioche, and poached pear notes. The palate is well-rounded and smooth.
Price of 1989 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut Rose, Champagne, France: $811
3. 1979 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Cave Privee Collection Brut Rose, Champagne, France
Known for its elegance, finesse, and rich aromas, this Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label vintage shows the impeccable winemaking credentials of the Champagne brand.
This rare Rose Champagne has expressive aromas of red berry, smoky pear, and bitter lemon pith on the nose. The medium-bodied palate has subtle nectarine flavors.
Price of 1979 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Cave Privee Collection Brut Rose, Champagne, France: $655
4. 1975 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 'Royal Celebration Cuvee' Brut, Champagne, France
Another perfectly balanced wine, this Veuve Clicquot Brut wine displays the terroir of Clicquot’s superb vineyards. Its exotic flavors are compared to the top Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label vintage wines.
Its mineral accented nose has discreet aromas of poached pear and caramel. The palate has subtle nectarine flavors.
Price of 1975 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 'Royal Celebration Cuvee' Brut, Champagne, France: $537
5. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Stingray Skin, Champagne, France
A classic Champagne blend, this Veuve Clicquot Brut is a true delicacy.
This Veuve Clicquot Champagne style has a complex nose with layered aromas. The palate has bright acidity and a poached pear flavor.
Price of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Stingray Skin, Champagne, France: $515
6. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Ostrich Skin, Champagne, France
The nose of this NV brut wine has discreet aromas of smoky pear, bitter lemon pith, brioche, rich, ripe pears, and white fruits. The palate displays a unique elegance and finesse with toasty brioche flavor and gently spicy notes.
Price of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Ostrich Skin, Champagne, France: $500
7. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Alligator Skin, Champagne, France
This golden yellow wine may not be a Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, but this is one bottle that every wine lover should have in their collection.
The Veuve Clicquot NV Brut is made from a blend of wines from 50-60 different crus. Wine Spectator appreciated it for its attractive notes of smoky pear, dried fig, brioche, and musky orchard fruits with a hint of savory nectarine flavors.
Price of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Yellowboam Alligator Skin, Champagne, France: $415
8. 1982 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Cave Privee Collection Brut, Champagne, France
The 1982 vintage is a true delicacy that showcases the perfect balance of aromas and the elegant finesse of the Veuve Clicquot style.
This sparkling wine has a mineral accented nose with bitter lemon pith, musky orchard fruits, toasty brioche aroma. The palate showcases attractive notes of aging.
Price of 1982 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Cave Privee Collection Brut, Champagne, France: $404
9. 2012 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Yayoi Kusama, Champagne, France
The 2012 La Grande Dame Brut by Yayoi Kusama Champagne is a perfectly balanced wine with a unique aroma.
It has a mineral accented nose with discreet aromas of mandarin, orange, and brioche. The palate displays a unique freshness and delicate nectarine flavors.
Price of 2012 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Yayoi Kusama, Champagne, France: $340
10. 1996 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Emilio Pucci, Champagne, France
With its aromatic intensity and elegance, this 1996 La Grande vintage is a true representation of the Madame Clicquot wines.
The nose has a perfect balance of smoky pear, musky orchard fruits, and toasty brioche scents with a hint of white fruits, grapefruit zest, and grated ginger. The palate has bright acidity, an elegant finesse, and a gently spicy note.
Price of 1996 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut by Emilio Pucci, Champagne, France: $292
Should You Invest In Veuve Clicquot Champagne?
In general, Veuve Clicquot vintages can age up to 15 years. The Brut Yellow Label can spend up to 25 years in the cellar.
The winery’s vintage offerings are not only diverse in their range and flavors, but they also show brilliant price appreciation.
- The 1998 La Grande Dame showed a remarkable price increase of 131% from $419 to $972 (Feb 2020 - Feb 2021.)
- The 1989 Cave Privée Collection Brut Rose grew 58% from $228 in Jan 2020 to $362 in Jan 2021.
So, if you’re looking for long-term investments, then Veuve Clicquot Champagne is a great choice.
But, what’s the smartest way to invest in Veuve Clicquot and other wines?
Online magazines like Wine Spectator and Decanter may help you find the best wines to invest in. However, you also need to consider optimal storage space, bottle insurance, and the hectic task of authenticating the bottle of wine.
Don’t worry - here’s a simple solution.
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Own An Exotic Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label
With its impeccable winemaking credentials, Madame Clicquot’s Veuve Clicquot has become one of the leading Champagne houses today, alongside Moet and Hennessy and others.
The Pinot Noir dominated blends, including the inimitable Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label, are perfect for celebrations and for long-term investing.
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