Most winemakers like to shout their achievements from the rafters, rightfully taking great pride in the quality of drinks that they are able to produce. Others take a more subtle approach, simply allowing the wine to do the talking for them. In some cases, they may not even maintain a website that tells people about their products and the history of the company itself.
Such is the case with Andre Clouet. This wonderful winemaker is capable of crafting some superb wines, but without services like ours they may never have been exposed to a wider audience. That would be a true shame though, as the wines on offer from this producer are of an exceptional quality and are more than capable of competing with some of the biggest producers in the world. Here we will take a look at what little is known about their history, before offering a closer examination of one of the superior champagnes that has allowed them to build such a strong reputation amongst wine lovers who explore off the beaten track in order to get their hands on new vintages.
The history of the Clouet family is immediately shrouded in mystery, as the company themselves claims that the origins of the family have been lost to the mists of time. However, it is known that the family has regal ties, dating all the way back to the days of Louis XV.
During that period, the patriarch of the company worked as a printer in the Versailles court of one of the most famous historical kings, with a number of generations that followed continuing in this trade. However, the family also had a deep passion for the creation of truly great wines, even though they were yet to find themselves in a position to explore this passion as fully as they would have liked. As a point of interest, the “Ancien Regime” label on each of Andre Clouet’s bottles of wines is a tribute to this early era, harkening back to the days when the family were the toast of the printing world, rather than being a part of the winemaking tradition of France.
The passion for wine only intensified through the generations until the family finally acquired some plots of vines in the Bouzy region. Having now acquired their very own land, the family soon switched focus away from printing and instead began to dedicate themselves to the winemaking industry, setting out to craft vintages that would be appreciated by people for years to come.
This firs plot of land on Bouzy, which is a small area located in the southern parts of the Mountain of Reims, is still owned by the family. This demonstrates their continued respect for the family tradition, in addition to giving them access to vines that are literally hundreds of years old and capable of producing grapes that are the envy of many more famous producers in France and throughout the modern world.
Quality is something that the family has always aspired to maintain, which has led to this small 9 hectares of land being classified as 100% Grand Cru. This is a label that is offered only to wines or vineyards that are of the most exceptional quality, highlighting them as producers of drinks of the highest possible standard. In many ways it is similar to the DOCG label in Italy, though some would argue that it is actually even more prestigious.
Bouzy is one of very few villages in France to have achieved the label, being one of only 17 to receive the distinction. Not only does this speak to the quality of the land in the village, but also the hard work and diligence of those who have cultivated it over the centuries to allow for the growing of such wonderful grape varieties.
The land is now used to grow beautifully ripened Pinot Noir, which is used in the creation of many of the company’s best wines. The cool soil contain calcareous clay that only serves to aid the growing process ensuring the grapes that are produced reach a very exacting standard.
Today, though they do not advertise in the same manner as many other wine companies, Andre Clouet has developed a stellar reputation in the wine industry amongst those who really know where to look when searching out a great wine. We hope that those who are perhaps a little less experienced will take the time to search out their wines, starting with this wonderful Champagne Rosè.
Proudly displaying the Grand Cru label that the company has worked so hard to earn, the Andre Clouet Champagne Rosè Grand Cru Brut is amongst the best wines that you will ever come across in France, bar none. Mixing the beautiful bubbles of a classic champagne with the interesting texture of a fine Rosè, this is an intriguing vintage that offers so much more than first meets the eye.
The colouring is best described as mild salmon, which gives very little indication of the quality of wine in the bottle. While the looks may not strike you as being particularly eye-catching, the stunning rich bouquet of scents will quickly grab you attention. When bringing the glass to the nose you will immediately recognise notes of raspberry and strawberry, with these fruits tempered slightly by a hint of almonds, offering the wine a complex bouquet that is worth further exploration.
Once introduced to the palette you will immediately begin to understand why this wine and its producer have such a stellar reputation within the wine industry. The notes of raspberry and strawberry are there and provide a refreshing burst of flavour upon your first sip. Allow the wine to linger in the mouth a little and you will also note a toasty flavour that again serves to temper the freshness of the fruit, offering the wine a complexity that you may not always expect from a Champagne Rosè. Simply put, it is the perfect introduction to this wonderful wine maker.