Region: Champagne, France
Grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier
First Glance: Reliable and recognisable NV cuvee
Acclaim: 90 Points
One of the most prolific houses in champagne, second in size only to Moet Chandon, Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin is a storied and reliable estate. The widowed Madame Cliquot was a shining example of a strong business woman in the early 1800's. - Not only did she lead the estate through trying times, she also invented the iconic "riddling" - the process of slowly turning bottles in the A shaped pupitre rack, to remove the sediment from bottle-fermentation. A process readily adopted throughout the entire region. Oh, and she also invented the rose champagne category. How about that for a track record.
The Brut NV with its iconic yellow label, is a blend from 50 - 60 different villages, and is always Pinot Noir predominant - a staple of the robust house style. In any given vintage the blend will look something like 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and a balance of Meunier, including a solid 30 - 45% reserve wines. Aged for a minimum of 36 months before release.
90 Points, Decanter
One of the most popular of all Champagnes, this is now showing a freshness that wasn't always there. The crisp texture and green-apple flavors give it an immediate drinkability as well as perfumed acidity and a vibrant aftertaste.