’Tis the season alright, so not only did we serve Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label at out 10+ launch party last night we also caught up with Gaëlle Goossens, Veuve Clicquot winemaker who talked us through all things bubbles. Our kind of education.
10 Magazine: So how can we sound more knowledgeable when we drink Champagne this season. Important!
Gaëlle Goossens: “Always relate your palate to your mind. Firstly, you need to think what are the five aromats (or aromas) that I can find? So, what kind of citrus fruits can I get? Then what kind of white fruits? Pear maybe or apple? Then you focus on the yellow fruits…and then you’ve got your aromats. Then you need to ask what kind of flowers do I have, white? Yellow? And then what pastry notes can I find… Then you taste the Champagne and what you need to find in the mouth is more the structure, the texture, the sensation – so not so much the aromats as you already have them with your nose, try to focus on the feeling in your mouth. you can focus on the size of the bubble- is it delicate, soft or is it very aggressive? And the lasting as well then you think about it and the smell and you sum it up…
10: Any insider tips?
GG: “The first thing you have to know is – do you like it or not? And if you want to impress your friends you have to be the first to speak in a tasting, the first is always right, as it is very subjective and you will influence everyone else at the tasting.
10: Tell us more about Yellow Label.
GG: “Well, Yellow Label is our flagship and so in terms of winemaking it is the most challenging to produce as it must be consistent from year to year, there shouldn’t be any difference. We like the balance between the citrus notes of lemon, grapefruit, and orange aromats and some ripeness, from the peach, the pear all those fresh fruit primary aromats that come from the grapes themselves: then there are also the pastry notes, brioche and almond aromats that come from ageing the Champagne on the lees in the cellar. We still age our Champagne in a chalk cellar, which has a very cold temperature but, there is humidity and we don’t move the bottles so there are no vibrations and so we create the perfect conditions to age our Champagne.”
10: You were born and raised in Champagne, so you grew up with it in your blood stream…
GG: “My wine education at home was my dad making me taste wine … I mean being a winemaker it’s not something you set out to be when you are young… but my parents drank good wines and they tried to educate me. It was all about tasting not making.”