Grapes from as many as 50 to 60 different Crus go to the blending of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label.
Traditionally, the proportion of each grape variety used is:
· 50 to 55% Pinot Noir
· 15 to 20% Pinot Meunier
· 28 to 33% Chardonnay
These figures vary slightly from year to year according to conditions. The Cellar Master has to achieve the total consistency of taste, which makes Brut Yellow Label so immediately recognisable, so utterly reliable both in terms of quality, colour and bouquet.
He will draw on priceless reserve wines for the blend: from 25 to 35%, sometimes as much as 40% to ensure the continuity of the House style. Each of these older wines - perhaps nine years old - is kept separately to preserve the unique qualities of the vineyard and the vintage.
First, Brut Yellow Label looks beautiful: golden-yellow, with a foaming necklace of tiny bubbles. Next it is so pleasing to the nose: initially reminiscent of white fruits and raisins, then of vanilla and later of brioche. Note the fine balance between the fruity aromas coming from the grape varieties and the toasty aromas following the ageing in the bottle.
The first sip delivers all the freshness and forcefulness so typical of Yellow Label with a symphony of fruit tastes following on. Here is a true member of the powerful Brut family, well structured, admirably vinous. The lingering aromas echo and re-echo, with each fruit or spice note distinct.
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label manages to reconcile two opposing factors - forcefulness and finesse - and to hold them in perfect balance. This consistent power to please makes it ideal as an aperitif, and perfect as the Champagne to enjoy with a meal.