We tasted: De Venoge Louis XV 1996

Due to its geographical situation, the history of the Champagne region was full of tragic events, and maison de Venoge is no exception. It was founded in 1837 by Henri-Marc De Venoge, a wealthy Lausanne (Canton de Vaud, Switzerland) family’s descendant. He came to France in 1825 and established his textile and champagne trading business at Mareuil sur Aÿ. He was very successful and De Venoge champagne house started to export to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and England. Both Henri-Marc’s sons, Léon and Joseph, have converted into champagne ambassadors — Léon for United States (de Venoge was awarded in Philadelphia with the Grand Prix of the The Centennial International Exhibition of 1876, the first official World’s Fair to be held in the United States) and Joseph for Épernay, where he was the president of Tribunal de Commerce.

Henri-Marc de Venoge was the first champagne producer that introduced the full designed label on each bottle with information about the wine inside (until then the bottles were exported without any standardized labels). The champagne house grew more and more, and under the leadership of Marquis Adrien de Mun, the husband of Yvonne de Venoge (great-granddaughter of Henri-Marc), its annual production exceeded one million bottles.

Unfortunately, the riots in 1910 and then the First World War, when the destruction left the house without its wine installations and its headquarters, put the champagne business in jeopardy. In 1958 de Venoge family sold the champagne house which for the following 40 years will survive in a constant instability due to the frequent change in the ownership. Lanson BCC buys the house in 1998 and the situation improves substantially, the old markets are reactivated and the house has started to gain back its success and fame.

Let’s now focus on this prestige cuvée, Louis XV vintage 1996. The bottle has an aristocratic shape, which is very characteristic for de Venoge house and is also used for the special cuvées “des Princes”, “Tour Eiffel” and “Louis d’Or”. On the nose, golden ripe fruits with rich honey, brioche, caramel and yeast. On the palate, we found a dense texture with yeasty, nutty, honeyed aroma-flavours including bread dough, lemon curd, apricots. It is a bright yet earthy (mushrooms) and light wine but so complex with well balanced chalky acidity. Tiny elegant rarefied bubbles are still present. Amazing hint of vanilla at the aftertaste. It’s a champagne for special occasions, perfect to drink now (maybe, on perfect cellar conditions, can be stored for 5 years more).

CLB score

92

*take a look at our CLB scoring

Type of champagneBrut
VintageVintage / 1996
Grapes50% Chardonnay 50% Pinot Noir
Maisonde Venoge
Village/terroirAvize, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Bouzy, Verzenay
Degorgement2008
Agedsur lies 10 years
Dosage6g/L
Sizebottle (75cl)
Number of bottlesN/A
Price range (euro)150-200
Chef de CavesEric Lebel (<1998), Isabelle Tellier (>1998)
Other considerents

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