Hong Kong Tatler - - Life Wine -

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.

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