It takes a lot to turn heads in Las Vegas, but the vivid Yellow Label Brut of Veuve Clicquot demands to be noticed. “Yellow Label is recognizable wherever it appears,” says Harley Carbery, wine director at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. “It’s a Champagne that makes a splash at every nightclub in the city and is equally at home in fine dining. For that reason, we offer it by the glass at eight different venues,” adds Carbery, who oversees Wine Spectator Restaurant Award Grand Award Aureole, Michael Mina Stripsteak, Light nightclub and more.
Of course, even in Las Vegas, good looks only get you so far. “I believe Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is so fashionable because it is consistent in its quality, with Pinot Noir as the backbone and the other grapes lending citrus flavors for a very drinkable, well-balanced style,” says Carbery.
According to Veuve Clicquot cellar master Dominique Demarville, it is precisely the structure derived from Pinot Noir that many wine lovers identify with when enjoying Veuve Clicquot. “Pinot Noir drives the house, and is always in excess of 50 percent of the final blend in Yellow Label, making it a very special style within the world of Champagne,” Demarville explains. “Once somebody tastes Yellow Label, they always come back.”
Reserve Wines: Hallmark of a Great House Style
Much of the Pinot Noir for Clicquot’s Champagnes comes in the form of reserve wines, another hallmark of the house style. To construct a consistent Champagne, Demarville draws upon more than 450 wines, dating back to 1988, to impart the richness, complexity and dimension that can only be achieved with time in the cellar. Utilizing fruit sourced from impeccable estate vineyards and select growers, Demarville insists that great Champagne must begin with great wines. “We have the bubbles, yes! And of course, we make Champagne because we are in Champagne. But my blending philosophy is to make Veuve Clicquot first as a fine wine, a goal that guides us from vineyard to bottle,” he says.
Whether fizzing in a flute as a prelude to dinner or parading about the club in grand large-format bottles, Yellow Label always commands the spotlight. Guided by 240 years of tradition, Veuve Clicquot is a rare find even among great Champagnes, a wine that exudes as much substance as it does style.