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Great Wine: Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne



Price Range : $49 - 58

Region: Reims, Champagne, France Ready to Drink: Immediately upon release

Like the Tiffany’s blue, the yellow of VEUVE CLICQUOT’s wine label is one of the most iconic in all of the world. There may be no more endeared wine brand in the world— built upon the reputation of their line of a single product, the most romantic and celebratory wine there is: Champagne. Sure, there are brands that are more popular—Barefoot and Yellow Tail outsell VC by a mile. And Lafite and Dom. Romanée-Conti are perhaps more treasured. But, let’s just say, those brands are only here to serve a certain audience who exist on opposite sides of the spectrum. What is the promise of the Veuve Clicquot brand? It’s aspirational—it’s the promise of exceptionalism, that an already special moment will be elevated to even more memorable heights because of the class, elegance and luxury that a Veuve Clicquot Champagne provides. And, remember, drinking Champagne is most often in our perception considered a shared activity—one does not drink Champagne alone unless one is very depressed—so, a great Champagne reinforces our sense of community, our sense of belonging. That’s what makes Champagne a particularly endearing sparkling wine, and why Veuve Clicquot remains at the top of Champagne brands that are beloved. 

I’ve had many levels among the line of Clicquot Champagnes, from the flagship La Grande Dame to vintage Bruts and this, their entry-level, non-vintage Yellow Label Brut. I’m always impressed with how the higher price of a bottle is justified by the increasing grandeur of the wine. Along with the Champagnes of the house of Louis Roederer (makers of Cristal), I can’t think of another big name brand that offers as much consistent quality in relation to the price of the bottle. Considering that the house of Clicquot has been making Champagne since 1772, that’s saying plenty. 

The yeastiness and note of toasted almond on the nose invokes our natural fond attachments to pie crust, crème brulée and buttery pound cake. This is Brut with bubbly style—crisp, refreshing, lively, bright and robust in apple, pear and lemon flavor—calling out for a spirit of joie de vivre. Easily one of the best Champagnes out there for the money. Pleasurable and enlightening, the promise of a great brand is delivered time and time again.  –J.M.

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December 24, 2016