The roots of the Clouet family are lost in the greyest of prehistoric times. For centuries, the Clouets were the scribes of the respective king and then, now also over two hundred years ago, pioneers in Champagne.
An ancestor received the vineyards directly from Napoleon as thanks for loyal service. The later famous opening of the champagne bottle by means of a sabre also took place in Clouet’s cellar. Next to the Clouets’ vineyard is the most expensive Pinot Noir hill in Champagne, where Bollinger’s “Vieilles Vignes” is harvested. The Clouets are quite self-confident when they claim that their vineyards are better. The small house of Clouet owns the most and best Pinot Noir Grand Cru sites in Bouzy, which, like Avize for Chardonnay, is precisely the best place for Pinot Noir in the whole of Champagne. The young Jean Francois considers Clouet to be one of the five best producers in the whole of Champagne, right after Krug. Organic production as far as possible is a matter of course, and strict yield restriction is also practised. No chemicals are used to clarify the Pinot Noir, which is normally still slightly coloured.
Perfect and balanced is the flagship product of the house, the Grande Reserve, 100 % Pinot Noir from 100 % Grand Cru sites. Pure power, but balanced and without bitterness and with a perfectly creamy texture, pre-aged for years in deep cellars to come to the market at its peak, which is still years away. Some of this Grand Cru quality is fermented in barriques by Sauternes producer Doisy-Daene and then bottled as a Silver Brut with no dosage at all. This silky quality is damn hard to top! The vintage champagne underlaid with 20% Chardonnay is more polarising and still needs a few years after its release. The rosé is possibly the best non-vintage rosé in Champagne, and a vintage rosé is waiting in the wings. The “1911”, a homage to bottles of this vintage that were rediscovered by chance some time ago and are said to have been extra-terrestrially good, is a pure Pinot Noir from the oldest vines. A hand-picked allocation of the only 1911 bottles produced each year goes without saying. Since 2015, a homeopathic amount of single-vineyard vintage Pinot Noir has been produced in magnum from the oldest, tiny vineyard behind the estate house, a Clos enclosed by a wall: The “Clos de Bouzy”. This is the answer to Krug’s ultra-rare Chardonnay “Clos de Mesnil”. Clouet is truly a sensation!