Veuve Clicquot will declare fewer vintages in the future, its chef de caves has said.
In London to launch the 2004 vintage of Veuve Clicquot in jeroboam, magnum and bottle, Dominique Demarville said he was looking at ‘vintage awareness’ at the Champagne house.
‘We will release fewer vintages,’ he said. ‘One every three or four years. We want to increase the difference between the Yellow Label non-vintage and the vintages.’
It is unlikely, he said, that vintages will be released in consecutive years unless they are ‘exceptional’.
Demarville has taken the unusual step of releasing both the Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004 and the Vintage Rosé 2004 – which won Regional Champagne Trophy at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards – in the large bottle formats at the same time as the normal 75cl bottle.
The wines are disgorged at the same time and have exactly the same dosage – nine grams per litre for the brut, and 7g/l for the rosé. The 2004 is a blend of 62% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 8% Pinot Meunier.
‘This is the first time we have released the different formats at the same time,’ Demarville said. ‘It’s a good opportunity to see the change in the wine. It’s the same genes, the same roots, but it is like a brother and sister.’
Of the 2004 vintage – widely regarded as excellent in Champagne – Demarville said, ‘the exceptionally fine weather conditions in September allowed the abundant crop of grapes to ripen beautifully…we harvested some very fine grapes in excellent conditions of health.’
The last vintage of Veuve Clicquot was the 2002, and the next will be the 2008.
Demarville said that the next vintage in Veuve’s library series, Cave Privée, will probably be the 1982, to be released in 2013.
Written by Adam Lechmere