CLICQUOT ADDS VERVE
For the first time in 50 years, champagne house Veuve Clicquot has returned to wood, using 5 per cent oak in the blend for its 2008 base wines. The house had switched to stainless steel in the 1960s. The oak is only used in the non-vintage Yellow Label, not in the single-vintage wines. According to cellar master Dominique Demarville, the use of oak in the blend will add breadth and complexity.
Good news for Champagne lovers—there’ll be a few more bottles to be had from the 2016 harvest compared to the year before. Production is carefully controlled by the Union des Maisons de Champagne and the Syndicat Générale des Vignerons de la Champagne, which met after the flowering of the current crop to set this year’s production limit—up 300kg to 10,800kg/ha. But it’s been a challenging season for grape growers, with damaging frosts in April followed by excessive rain that caused a mildew epidemic in the region. So some of the winemakers will have to draw on their reserves of still wine set aside in good seasons to augment the harvest and bring their production up to 10,800kg/ha.