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1840s Champagne from Veuve Clicquot Analyzed

Caves at Veuve Clicquot champagne house

Caves at Veuve Clicquot champagne house

A few years ago there was a report of the remarkable find of bottles of champagne found in a shipwreck at the mouth of the Baltic Sea. At the time it was thought the champagnes were produced during the first half of the 1800s. The champagne bottles recovered from the shipwreck were from  Juglar (now Jacquesson), Veuve Clicquot and Heidsieck & Co. According to the Aland website, the Veuve Clicquot bottles had dates of 1841-1850.

A recent article on BBC, “Champagne from 1840s Shipwreck Analysed” by Jonathan Webb was about the Veuve Clicquot wine tested in a lab. The discovered wine was compared with todays champagnes from the same winery. The study was led by Professor Philippe Jeandet at the University of Reims. By using scientific methods the researchers found that the wine was somewhat similar to the wines produced by Veuve Clicquot today. Prof Jeandet noted that there were fewer bubbles in the older champagne but explained that it was possible the gas escaped through the corks. He found flavors of tobacco and leather that lingered.

From the research results it seems that one of the most notable differences between

Veuve Clicquot winemaker

the champagne of the 1800s and today is the sweetness. The older champagne was much sweeter than most champagnes today. The research was published in the PNAS journal.

I found the article interesting because in addition to the taste of champagne, I also find the history of wine fascinating. We also attended the International Tourism Conference in Reims this month and visited the Veuve Clicquot champagne house. The Wine Trail Traveler article about Veuve Clicquot is online.


Old riddling rack at Veuve Clicquot

Old riddling rack at Veuve Clicquot







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