Not once, not twice, but several times we have tasted this special cuvée from André Clouet. In the early XVII century, the Clouet family started to produce wine (still wine at that time) in Bouzy, a Grand Cru village in Montagne de Reims region, specialized in Pinot Noir variety. The wine business has always been part of the Clouet family, and currently, Jean-François Clouet, owns more than 8 hectares (20 acres) of vineyard land on the best slopes in the villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay in the Montagne de Reims. The vineyards are seating on Champagne’s famous chalk soils and planted entirely to Pinot Noir.
This special cuvée, Un jour de 1911… which is the house most prestigious cuvée, is made in the memory of the Belle Époque golden label. The history tells that a small number of bottles from early 1900s were found hidden in the cellars for more than 80 years. These very old bottles were kept carefully covered in straw and protected by their wooden cases. Each bottle was beautifully dressed with a gold foil collar, meticulously applied by hand in a shape suggesting a woman’s neckline. These bottles had been served in exclusive places such as “Maxim’s” and “Folies Bergères”, the latter being so beautifully painted by Manet… later becoming the inspiration for Clouet´s exclusive cuvée, only produced in 1911 bottles each year.
As we said at the beginning, we have tasted several bottles of this superb cuvée (editions 78 to 81) and we have noticed some slightly differences between them. We could have been also influenced by the different tasting conditions: summer in a hot&dry city (Madrid), then winter cold&dry (also Madrid), and finally summer by the beach, at sunset. The most important qualities are however constant and keep that Golden Age spirit in each bottle. The color is always dark yellow, very similar to the winter sunset, the effervescence is abundant yet the bubbles are of a great finesse. On the nose we have distinguished notes of vanilla, honey, bread crust and sweet pastry alongside with toast apple and citrus foam. On the palate, this champagne is elegant, creamy with nice notes of yeast, almonds, red fruits, apricots, pears. Very pleasant acidity. The aftertaste is extremely long and pleasant. The differences we have noticed during our tasting of separate bottles were mostly about the level of maturity. Some bottles (edition 81, disgorged 09.2019) would probably need more cellar time before drinking just to gain the same maturity as the previous versions. A wonderful tribute to the Belle Époque and the great terroir of Bouzy !
*take a look at our CLB scoring
|Type of champagne||Brut|
|Vintage||NV special blend|
|Grapes||100% Pinot Noir|
|Village/terroir||Bouzy (lieux-dits: Les Petites Brousses, Les Hautes Brousses, Les Vaudayants, Les Ramoniers, Les Ronsures, Les Cercets, Les Gouttes d’Or, La Croix, Les Varnets, Le Village)|
|Aged||sur lies 6 years|
|Number of bottles||1911 each year|
|Price range (euro)||60-80|
|Chef de Caves||Jean-François Clouet|
|Other considerents||malolactic fermentation, hand-made remuage , 1% liqueur de tirage|