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Producer: Veuve ClicquotGrape Varieties: 55% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Meunier & 30% ChardOptimum Drinking: Within 6 yearsWine Style: Mature well-balanced fresh tasting ChampagneAlcohol by Volume: 12%Closure: Natural CorkCountry: France
Veuve Clicquot has every reason for confidence. Yellow Label is a blend of unvarying quality, always fully mature, always perfectly balanced. Admired across the world, it owes its excellence to a superb holding of vineyards founded by Madame Clicquot and added to over two centuries. These produce the great ‘crus' of reserve wines which that oenological genius, Jacques Peters, can call on when he finalises the blend.
In Britain, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label has become famous as "The Champagne of The Season", an essential part of the British summer. What better symbol could there be of celebration, sunshine and sporting success?
The BlendIt is the sturdiness of Pinot Noir, which gives the Yellow Label its classical structure, with a touch of Pinot Meunier to add roundness. Chardonnay brings a certain elegance and finesse, essential for the harmony and balance of the wine.
Grapes from as many as 60 different vineyards go to the blending of Yellow Label. Traditionally, the proportion of each grape variety used is 55% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay.
These figures vary slightly from year to year according to conditions. The blender has to achieve the total consistency of taste, colour and bouquet which makes Yellow Label so immediately recognisable, so utterly reliable.
He will draw on priceless Reserve wines for the blend: from 25% to 35%, sometimes 40%. Each of these older wines, perhaps 8 years old, is kept separately to preserve the unique qualities of the vineyard and the vintage.
On the senses...First, Yellow Label looks beautiful: golden yellow, with a foaming necklace of tiny bubbles. Next, it is so pleasing to the nose; initially reminiscent of white fruits and raisins, then of vanilla, and later of biscuits. Note the fine balance between the younger, ‘fruity' wines and the older ‘toasty' wines, which made up the final assembly.
The first sip delivers all the freshness and forcefulness so typical of Yellow Label, with a symphony of fruit taste following on. Here is a true member of the Brut family: powerful, well structured, admirably vinous. The lingering aromas echo and re-echo, with each fruit or spice note distinct.
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label manages to reconcile two opposing factors - forcefulness and finesse - and to hold them in perfect balance. This consistent power to please makes it ideal as an aperitif, and perfect as the champagne to enjoy with a meal.
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