I’ve followed the Veuve Clicquot style over four decades and have been fascinated by its continuing evolution. For much of the time, it was very individual, with richness and strong, positive autolysis and just the perfect amount of aldehydes to give it serious complexity. But with it becoming part of the LVMH group, there was a fairly rapid change, which I seemed to notice. This coincided with the growth of the brand at the time. Clever people at LVMH, in spotting something that was going to grow gang-busters, and capitalise on it. For a short time, I’m sure production could not keep up with demand, and wine must have been purchased ‘sur latte’. You could tell, as suddenly, a number of bottles consumed just didn’t satisfy.
But surely and steadily, the label has clawed its way back to being near brilliant. But with changes in being fresher, cleaner, more fruit oriented. The wine I’m sure is more elegant nowadays, trading complexity for freshness, and it’s a good thing, and certainly not all bad. A bottle of 2008 Veuve Clicquot Champagne Vintage chanced our way. It was actually a gift from The Chairman, but we consumed it with Lazza. The deliciousness could not be denied. Detailed and poised, with mouthwatering piquancy. A fine thread of autolysis only. For fans of old, maybe a let-down. But for nowadays drinkers, perfect and beautifully enjoyable.