OLD CHAMPAGNE BOTTLES NEVER DIE: How does a Veuve Clicquot from circa 1841 discovered in a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic sea in July 2010 really taste?

Madame Clicquot, née Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, also known as Widow Clicquot lived from December 1777 until July 1866. She was a remarkable Champagne technology innovator as well as a profound business woman with a unique expertise on the importance of wine and vineyards. With her cellar master Antoine Müller she invented the riddling rack. She bought also important vineyards in Grand Crus like Bouzy, Verzy and Verzenay, yesterday and today, famous for their Pinot noir. Since then this grape variety is the backbone of the wines of Champagne Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. There is always the discussion which grape variety has more potential for lasting in a Champagne wine: Chardonnay or Pinot noir. On the 25th of May 2012 in Reims during an exceptional vertical tasting of eight cuvees from three siècles the pendulum swung back and forth to establish a very strong note of exclamation for Madame Clicquot's view: After a vintage Rosé 1947 and a Cuvée 1904 Clicquot's oldest bottle from around 1839 was opened - one that was found almost two years ago by some divers in the Baltic Sea off the coast of the Åland Islands. Read more on this event in the upcoming new book on Champagne which will be published in September.
The photo shows Domique Demarville, the present chef de cave, who guided the degustation with his predecessors Jacques Peters and Charles Delhaye, opening the Baltic Sea bottle to check before serving and drinking it drop by drop with some very unusual concentrated enjoyment.

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