Featured as Bespoke Unit’s number 1 Champagne under $50, we’re quite fond of Veuve Clicquot Carte Jaune. Nevertheless, a bottle was due of a full and detailed review.
In the following article, you will discover Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label (or Carte Jaune). This article will evaluate its composition, tasted and smelled notes as well as its value for money. You’ll also be able to read about the best pairings to accompany this Champagne.
Overview Of Veuve Clicquot Carte Jaune
- House: Veuve Clicquot
- Cuvée: Carte Jaune
- Location: Reims, Montagne de Reims
- Grape Classification: Cru
- Vintage: No
- Blending Style: Tradition
- Grapes Used: 50% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay
- Sugar Content: Brut
- Producer Identifier: NM-549-004
- Price On Amazon: $59 [Buy Now]
- Price On Wine.com: $50 [Buy Now]
- [Learn More About Identifying Champagne From The Label]
Founded in 1772, the house was inherited by Barbe Nicole Clicquot following her husband’s untimely death. At only 27 years old, she took on her late husband’s business despite her father-in-law’s objections.
Changing the label to include “Ponsardin”, Barbe’s maiden name, she also added the prefix “Veuve”, meaning “widow”. Within 5 years, Veuve Clicquot was producing over 100,000 bottles yearly.
Soon after, she went on to become known as the “Grande Dame de la Champagne” or the “Great Lady Of Champagne”. Interestingly, “La Champagne” in its feminine form refers to the region and not the wine, which takes the masculine.
Like Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot is today part of the LVMH group and produces 22 million bottles annually. The Carte Jaune represents the house’s flagship and entry cuvée, which is a traditional non-vintage blend.
Veuve Clicquot Carte Jaune’s Robe & Perlage
- Hue: Mid-Gold
- Transparency: Clear
- Bubbles: Graceful & Energetic
Firstly, Carte Jaune reveals its creamy mousse in the form of graceful yet energetic bubbles. The voluminous perlage fills the glass, which consists of a glimmering, mid-gold hue that is very clear.
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label’s Nose & Bouquet
Detected Nose Notes:
- 1st Nose: Peaches, Mirabelle Plum
- 2nd Nose: Dried Fruit & Nuts, Spices
Bringing the glass to you nose, you can expect an exotic and sweet bouquet of peaches and mirabelle plums. The first nose is surprisingly subtle and its intense nectar isn’t as diverse and complex as you’d expect. Nevertheless, it’s remarkably vivid.
Persisted smelling reveals its spicier character with notes of dried fruit and nuts. However, it’s not overly yeasty and doesn’t seem to give off the mellow notes you’d expect from a mature Champagne with a heavy pinot noir presence.
Veuve Clicquot’s Palate & Mouthfeel
Tasted Palate Notes:
- Opening: Grapefruit, Mirabelle Plums
- Heart: Speculoos Biscuit, Cream
- Finish: Toast, Nuts & Limestone
- Overall Flavour Length: Medium-Long
As an extension of the nose, tasting first reveals a burst of mirabelle plums followed by the bittersweet essence of grapefruit. While the former is refreshing, the latter amplifies the body and gives a rich, zesty experience.
However, Veuve Clicquot never strays too close to being sweet and remains a decisively dry experience.
As the initial notes subside, the effervescence becomes a thick and creamy mousse. This experience coincides wonderfully with the tart heart flavours of speculoos biscuit and cream, which washes with a velvety texture across the palate.
Whilst the biscuit notes establish the presence of yeasty notes, toast and nut flavours emerge soon after before dissipating with a long limestone finish.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
Veuve Clicquot’s renowned orange label is instantly recognisable from a distance, making it a particularly famous cuvée. Up close, the label walks a fine line between tradition and modernity with an eye-catching design set over Widow Clicquot-Ponsardin’s signature.
Fittingly, the plaque features a portrait of the Great Lady herself from her later years. The image itself is lifted from a portrait painted by Léon Cogniet, a little known artist best remembered as a teacher of the time.
With regards to the cork, it never returned to its original shape and there were a few minor streak marks near the base. This suggests that it had been bottled for a while and may have been exposed to a temperature spike. However, this fortunately did not affect the overall flavour.
Concerning the value for money, the Veuve Clicquot tested for this review was purchased in France for around 40€. Usually, there’s up to a 50% price increase when it arrives State-side. However, it can actually be found for as little as $55 on wine.com and occasionally on Amazon.com too.
The overall price difference comes to a mere $8 after the exchange rate on the day writing this review, which is indeed rare for Champagne.
Best Pairings With Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label
With each bottle having been aged at least 3 years on lees with a 50% concentration of pinot noir, Veuve Clicquot Carte Jaune is blooming with character. Therefore, it’s something that pairs well with strong and salty food but may be difficult to accord with sweet or subtle dishes.
For instance, you can happily pair Veuve Clicquot with fish dishes such as caviar, oysters, shellfish and grilled meals. However, it may be somewhat overpowering for sushi. Similarly, it goes well with most red, white and cured meats but take care with paté such as foie gras for the same reason.
Nevertheless, its character makes it an ideal choice for most cheese apart from veiny blue cheese. It would also be a great choice for apéritifs and appetisers such as olives, tapenade, French fires and nuts.
For those who enjoy tobacco products, Veuve Clicquot pairs very well with a mild to medium bodied cigar.
Finally, Veuve Clicquot is best serve around 10°C (50°F) but it’s also pleasant at a cooler 8°C (46.4°F).
When Should You Veuve Clicquot?
Veuve Clicquot is generally a Champagne that can be drank for any occasion. However, its luxury connotations tend to make it best suited for grander events such as ceremonies and formal gatherings.
Being a prestigious and recognisable brand, it’s a Champagne that would be perfectly suitable for both weddings and galas alike. That said, its grandiose nature may make it too formal and too rich in character for parties and casual festivities.
Nevertheless, it can also be enjoyed among friends as a special treat. Overall, it’s a relatively versatile Champagne but sits mostly towards the formal end of the scale.
A premium yet still affordable Champagne, Veuve Clicquot is a grandiose and indulging choice. With its full-bodied character and dry profile, the combined notes of grapefruit and cream make it an ideal choice for developed palates.
Furthermore, it’s an elegant and refined house, which offers some of the most premium Champagnes available. If you’re looking for an insight into what premium Champagnes can offer, then the Grande Dame de la Champagne might be worth a look.
Enjoyed the review? Watch the video below to see our first impressions!
"A yeasty and dry Champagne. Ideal for lavish occasions and those looking for a little more character, Veuve Clicquot is an elegant choice."Rating: 4.0 ★★★★