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Veuve Clicquot vintage "top quality" allowing increase in reserves

Published:  25 October, 2011

The quality of the Veuve Clicquot has enabled it to produce a top quality non vintage and increase its reserve wines collection.

Both the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier were faster ripening than the Chardonnay and the last crop of the Chardonnay were picked on the September 6, in the Côte des Blancs.

Spring began with an exceptionally hot and sunny March and April which enabled the vines to grow quickly and evenly.

The region saw an earlier than usual flowering and harvest was three weeks in advance as the acidity in the grapes reached an early optimum level.

The harvest began officially on the August 22 with the Pinot Noirs in Bouzy, but four days later a big storm hit the region, which meant Veuve Clicquot had to stop picking, not just to protect the grapes, but workers too.

Dominique Demarville, Veuve Clicquot chef des caves, said: ''It's been a very challenging year, yet exciting too.

"The yield is good and nature has provided us with healthy grapes, especially the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

"The Pinot Meunier in some areas was damaged by botrytis but the permitted yield enabled us to select the healthy grapes."

He added: "The final yield was close to 13,600 kg/ha and the three grape varieties all yielded similar quantities. Acidity levels averaged around 7.6g/l with potential alcohol content of 9.4% and pH of 3.05.

"The balance looks great, reminiscent of the 2004, 2000, 1998 and 1982.

"The quality of this harvest will enable us to produce top quality non vintage and increase our reserve wines collection.

"For the Vintage or La Grande Dame, we will wait until March or April 2012, after the creation of the Yellow Label blend."