Find out who won the trophy for vintage rose over £10. And the winner is...
Veuve Clicquot 2004 Rosé
In 1775 Philippe Clicquot was the first person to make a rosé Champagne and in 1822 the eponymous Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin produced the first vintaged rosé Champagne.
Since then all the chefs de caves at this house have felt a special responsibility to be successful with this style of Champagne and, because there have been just 10 chefs de caves, this is something that could literally be passed on from one to the other, as Jacques Peters did for Dominique Demarville, the current chef de caves.
The blend is 67 per cent Pinot Noir, 7 per cent Pinot Meunier and 26 per cent Chardonnay, all Grands and Premiers Crus, with just over 13 per cent of the Pinot Noir vinified red wine, and a nice dosage of 9g/l.
The key to the quality of this wine can be traced back to the years of work put into Veuve Clicquot’s red winemaking programme.
The red wines utilised for the production of most rosé Champagne used to be little different than Coteaux Champenois, but the tannins and oxidative processes involved in producing such wines did not sit well with the rosé style of Champagne.
Cyril Brun, the senior oenologist in charge of Veuve Clicquot’s dedicated red wine facility in Bouzy, revealed “The impact of the red wines in 2004 was probably more than in some previous years.
We managed to reduce the yield in our red wines plots to below 9,000kg per hectare, compared to an exceptionally high average of 23,000kg for the region as a whole.
We achieved this through severe pruning, removing buds and finally a “green harvest” in July. Consequently, with the special extraction techniques we employ in the winery, we were able to produce a deep-coloured wine that was concentrated and aromatically expressive, yet soft and opulent.
Another factor, that was influential in the 2004 cuvée, was how the red wines and white wines complemented each other: the light, crisp white wine base and the rich, opulent red wine. They fit like a jigsaw. Only nature can achieve that!”
Availability UK: http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/veuve+clicquot+rosé/2004/uk?Xlist_format=N&Xbottle_size=all&Xprice_set=CUR&Xprice_min=&Xprice_max=
Telephone 33 (0) 326 89.54.40
Written by Tom Stevenson