Veuve Clicquot Price, Sizes & Buying Guide

The Champagne House of Veuve Clicquot, based in the city of Reims, produces one of the world’s most exceptional, prestigious, and more expensive ranges of true French Champagnes.

Their distinctive Orange-yellow label, which came to be in the latter part of the 1800s, is one of the world’s most recognized brands.

Maison Veuve Clicquot, literally translated from French, means “The House of the widow Clicquot” and is in the heartlands of the Champagne region of France.

veuve

The company had bought out the nearby white limestone quarries which had a vast network of existing Medieval tunnels. Additional vaults were constructed, and this created a whopping 24 Kilometre underground storage facility; being the largest underground tunnel network in the entire Champagne region.

Under the Appellation rules, which strictly protect the “Champagne” signature, Veuve Clicquot Wineries’ location and manufacturing processes qualify and ratify the use of the exclusive word “Champagne” on their labels.

Most of the world’s Champagnes are produced from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay grape varieties which are also grown in the area.

Interestingly, a part of the specified process required for the making of true “Champagne” is a double fermentation, known as the méthode champenoise, where the second fermentation takes place in the actual bottle in which the product is sold.

A Brief History of Veuve Clicquot

brief history of veuve

Veuve Clicquot was established some 250 years ago so even a brief covering of the company’s history takes some telling.

The business was established in 1772 by Philippe Clicquot who retired after passing control to his son Francois in 1801. François Clicquot married Barbe-Nicole Ponsard in 1798 and subsequently became a partner in his father’s wine business.

From a production output of 4000 bottles per annum sales doubled to 8000 per annum in 1796 and climbed to 60000 per annum in1804. Over 100 000 bottles were shipped by the company in 1805.

Tragically, in 1805 at age 30, and just seven years after his marriage, Francois passed away after a very short illness. Both the young widow Clicquot, only 27 years old, and her father-in-law, were crushed by Francois’s death and Phillippe made the decision to shut down the business.

Barbe-Nicole, in a move totally unconventional and unparalleled move at the time for a female, and particularly in an industry dominated by males, approached her father-in-law with a view to her taking over the running of the business.

Phillippe, an astute businessman, clearly saw potential in his daughter-in-law. He agreed to her proposal with the proviso that she should prove capable and that she would undergo an apprenticeship to ensure her competence.

She was subsequently apprenticed to a winemaker by the name of Alexandre Fourneaux and clearly, she learned well. Barbe-Nicole was the first female CEO of a Champagne House, the first woman to produce Champagne, and arguably the first Internationally renowned businesswoman.

The Napoleonic wars fought between 1803 and 1815 were difficult times for French businesses. Napoleon’s failed incursion into Russia in 1812 virtually annihilated his army.

Madame Clicquot, by now firmly ensconced in the driving seat of her champagne business, gambled on trade resuming with Russia and took a huge risk in shipping 10500 bottles of Champagne to Russia in 1814.

The product was in fact “smuggled” into Russia but was well received and sold out immediately. The next shipment of over 12500 bottles followed shortly and was also sold out. The Russian royalty loved her product.

Madam Clicquot successfully navigated the company through many difficult times, and was widely respected and known as “The Grande Dame de la Champagne”. She passed away in 1866 at age 89. By that time production levels had risen to 750 000 bottles per annum.

In 1986, the company was purchased by Louis Vuitton, the fashion brand Icon. They then, in 1987, merged with the famous wine and spirit producer, Moët Hennessy, now known as LVMH.

Production of the famous Veuve Clicquot brand is currently in excess of 19 million bottles per annum.

Veuve Clicquot Price, Variations, and Sizes

prices variations

Sometimes unexpectedly, a dusty, undiscovered bottle in a forgotten old wine cellar surface. Take, for example, the 162 bottles of 200-year-old champagne found 165 feet under the Baltic Sea in July 2010.

Many of these were Veuve Clicquot and were still drinkable thanks to the stable, cold, and dark conditions at that depth – and the good fortune that they had come to rest horizontally.

Eleven eventually were auctioned off in Finland for tens of thousands of euros.

Veuve Clicquot Average Prices

Name

Size

Price

Yellow Label Non-Vintage – $50

750ml

$50

Veuve Clicquot Rich

750ml

$70

Vintage Rose 2012

750 ml

$85

La Grande Dame Blanc 2008

750ml

$160

Cave Privee 1989

750ml

$650

For a six-liter bottle of Veuve Champagne, one can expect a price north of R850 per bottle

Alternatives and Comparisons

Krug

Krug Champagnes are amongst the most expensive on the planet. A recent Vintage of Clos du Mesnil sold for around $1000 per bottle. Purchases upwards of $2500 per bottle have been recorded.

  • Krug Grande Cuvee Brut – $219

Moët & Chandon

This is popular champagne and often the first name that comes to mind when people think about the bubbly nectar.

Name

Size

Price

Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut

750ml

$53.00

Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial

750ml

$59.99

Moët & Chandon Impérial Rosé

750ml

$63.99

Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial

750ml

$64.87

Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé

750ml

$69.99

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage

750ml

$76.99

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé

750ml

$93.97

Moët & Chandon MCIII

750ml

$341.99

Pairing

The Veuve Clicquot website state that their yellow label Champagnes have aromas of fruits and vanilla and are perfectly paired with foods such as seafood (Oysters, Shrimp, Lobster, White Fish), crackers, appetizers, snacks, pasta, parmesan, other cheeses, and desserts.

How To Drink Veuve Clicquot Champagne

how to drink veuve clicquot

Veuve Clicquot Champagne non-vintage is best served at a temperature of 42 to 46 degrees F. This also applies to Vintage Champagnes; it can be left out of ice as the slow warming of the Champagne releases hidden complexities.

FAQ

1. How do Veuve Clicquot and Veuve Clicquot Rich differ?

The term “Rich” was inspired by “Madam Clicquot’s knack for marketing innovation. At the time, sweeter Champagnes were simply called “rich” wines and were the preference of royalty and high society at the time.

Sweet-toothed Russian Royalty is reputed to have even added sugar to their Champagnes.

2. For how long can Champagne be stored?

Non-vintage Champagnes can be stored for 2 to 3 years under cool (45 to 65 degrees F) and dark conditions. Exposure to heat and sunlight will spoil Champagne. After opening, they are best consumed straight away.

Vintage wines can be stored very much longer but ideal conditions are required.

Interesting Facts and Myths

On a sales trip through Basel, Francois Clicquot met one Louis Bohne, also an experienced man in the wine industry, whom he immediately employed.

A month after Francois died Louis Bohne’s sales expertise made no mean contribution to the 110 000 bottles sold in 1805, close to doubling the previous year’s sales.

Louis remained a respected and loyal employee of the company throughout his life and proved to be invaluable as Madam Clicquot’s closest adviser.

Madame Clicquot is credited with a number of firsts, she:

  • created the first vintage champagne around 1810
  • Invented the riddling table in 1816, a unique and effective method of clarifying Champagne, the basic principles of which are still used today.
  • Created the world’s first Rose Champagne by blending reds and whites in 1818

Champagne was traditionally favored by royalty from the 17th century onwards. Particularly during the Napoleonic Wars of 1803 to 1815, Madame Clicquot focussed on establishing her brand of Champagne throughout the Royal courts of Europe, including the vast market in Imperial Russia.

She was instrumental in establishing the role played by Champagne as the favored drink of high society and nobility in Europe with the offshoot benefit of it becoming popular amongst the new middle class.