Veuve Clicquot’s New Extra Brut Extra Old (EBEO)
Heritage & Innovation
Michael Edwards provides details of a special new multi vintage blend from Veuve Clicquot and tastes some equally remarkable old vintages.
Extra Brut Extra Old previewed this April in London and Edinburgh is a modern, intricate expression of Veuve Clicquot’s 200-year old core heritage, ever since the great lady herself began to plant her finest vineyards in 1818 and her first vintage champagne in 1822. The wines have always been innovative. EBEO is a multi-vintage of real complexity, composed exclusively from the house’s famed collection of reserve wines, in particular 1988, 1996, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The assemblage is also representative of all Champagne: among others, billowing youthful Montagne Meunier; classy silken Äy Pinot Noir; poised powerful 1996 Côte des Bar Pinot; ;then the crescendo of Cramant Chardonnay 1988. What’s more, the blend is double-aged, three years on lees in vats (2% in oak) then three years in bottle before release after 12 months resting . This unhurried process shapes a Champagne of energy, purity and suppleness which needed only a minimal dosage of 3 g/l . This, allied to a lowered fizz pressure of 4.5 atmospheres makes EBEO the quintessential gastronomic champagne, vying with great white Burgundy. With further ageing it should achieve a super five star rating.
Tasting radiant colour, transluscent pale gold ,gentle bubbles; poised intense aromas, spiced lemon then orchard stone fruits, peach, even greengage; a very classy mouthfeel, at once subtly creamy yet mineral, admirably balanced ,without aggression. Great with risotto aux cèpes, côte de veau, sushi, sashimi **** 93
Photo: Laurent Gorget. Photo credits: ´†Veuve Clicquot.
at a Goring Hotel Dinner (11 April) it was a huge treat to taste vintage VCP treasures stowed away by Jacques Péters, Dominque’s predecessor – especially his masterpiece the Cave Privée 1989, a miracle of freshness and the eternally youthful Cave Privée 1979. Best of all the straight Vintage 1982, rated by the team as the best year they’ve ever made. Too right, golden, mature yet exquisitely floral. A very rare near perfect wine at 34 years of age ***** 96-97