Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rose 2006
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Learn about Veuve Clicquot, the history of the brand, its innovative winemaking techniques, and its signature Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne.
History of Veuve Clicquot
Veuve Clicquot, now one of the largest Champagne Houses, was founded in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot under the label "Clicquot". After establishing the brand throughout Europe, Russia and the United States, Philippe was joined by his son, François Clicquot, at the head of the House in 1798. Seven years later, following his untimely death, François’ young widow, Barbe Ponsardin, took over the family business at just 27 years old. The House would subsequently be renamed in her honor: ‘Veuve Clicquot’ means ‘The Widow Clicquot.’
Innovating Champagne Production
Over the course of her lifetime, Madame Clicquot (Barbe Ponsardin), developed three of the most important innovations in Champagne that are still practiced today. First, in 1810 Veuve Clicquot produced the first vintage wine in Champagne, which otherwise produced non-vintage blends. Second, in 1816 Madame Clicquot invented the riddling table to clarify Veuve Clicquot champagne, and by doing so, she improved both the quality and finesse of the wines. Riddling is now fundamental to ‘La Methode Traditionelle’ (the traditional Champagne production method) and is emulated around the world. Finally, in 1818 Madame Clicquot created the first rose champagne made through ‘assemblage’, a method where white wines are blended with red wines.
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut
The distinctive, 90+ rated, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut has been in production since 1877. It is distinguished by the dominance of Pinot Noir in its blend, which gives strength, complexity and elegance to the champagne.
Veuve Clicquot Pronunciation:
vœv kliko / vuhv klee-koh
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.
Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.
With nearly negligible exceptions, . These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
What are the different types of Champagne and sparkling wine?
Beloved for its lively bubbles, sparkling wine is the ultimate beverage for any festivity, whether it's a major celebration or a mere merrymaking of nothing much! Sparkling wine is made throughout the winemaking world, but only can be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France and is made using what is referred to as the "traditional method." Other regions have their own specialties—Crémant in other parts of France, Cava in Spain and Prosecco in Italy, to name a few. New World regions like California, Australia and New Zealand enjoy the freedom to make many styles, with production methods and traditions defined locally. In a dry style, Champagne and sparkling wine goes with just about any type of food. Sweet styles are not uncommon and among both dry and sweet, you'll find white, rosé—or even red!—examples.
How is Champagne and sparkling wine made?
Champagne, Crémant, Cava and many other sparkling wines of the world are made using the traditional method, in which the second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) takes place inside the bottle. With this method, spent yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful, toasted bread or brioche qualities and in many cases, the capacity to age. For Prosecco, the carbonation process usually occurs in a stainless steel tank (before bottling) to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas imminent in this style.
What gives Champagne and sparkling wine its bubbles?
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, which traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel.
How do you serve Champagne and sparkling wine?
Ideally for storing Champagne and sparkling wine in any long-term sense, they should be at cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool Champagne and sparkling wine down to about 40F to 50F. (Most refrigerators are colder than this.) As for drinking Champagne and sparkling wine, the best glasses have a stem and flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) to show.
How long does Champagne and sparkling wine last?
Most sparkling wines like Prosecco, Cava or others around the “$20 and under” price point are intended for early consumption. Wines made using the traditional method with extended cellar time before release can typically improve with age. If you are unsure, definitely consult a wine professional for guidance.