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Veuve-aceous

Whether it’s the bright colour or the endless summer sport affinities, few Champagnes are as well recognised as Veuve Clicquot’s Yellow Label (although I see it as orange myself) but now the house has a new member of the family to show the world and its label is not yellow or even orange, as you can see Extra Brut Extra Old has a black label.

Dominique Demarville, VC’s charming Cellar Master made the journey to London earlier this week to show off his latest baby, which has been in the making for the last six years.

“Our objective,” DD said, “was to explore a new category – Extra Brut – even further, but before that it is extra old. We wanted to look to new territories.”

Indeed they have, by ticking not just one fizz box but two with this wine, being extremely dry (3g dosage) and having some old components in the blend from the house’s reserve collection of 400 different wines. From these he has chosen six to make up this latest release and we were lucky enough to taste these individual components before tasting the final blend on Tuesday.

The oldest of the six wines was a wine in very limited supply, warned DD – a 1988 Chardonnay from the hallowed village of Cramant. By now though, this was tasting less like a Champagne reserve wine and more like a Vin Jaune with its delicious oxidised salty tang. Less typically still was another component, the 1996 Loche sur Ouche Pinot Noir from Champagne’s deep south, the Aube. This had a serious smokiness to it, which you could really see coming through in the final blend.

Speaking of which, was very good. The floral, fennel and citrus signs of youth (the youngest components are 2010 Pinot Meunier from Ville-Dommange and a 2009 Pinot Noir from Aÿ) make it feel fresh and pure.

However, as well as the smokiness, the wine felt pretty plush because of this creamy texture, which, as a house characteristic for VC in general, has been very successfully achieved with this latest release too. Nice one.

Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old is £69+ in Jeroboams, Harrods and Selfridges.