Didier Mariotti from Veuve Clicquot: back to the origins

Meet the new chef de cave (the eleventh) of the famous maison de Champagne. What with Grand Dame and Yellow Label

14-07-2020
Didier Mariotti, new chef de cave at Veuve Clicqu

Didier Mariotti, new chef de cave at Veuve Clicquot. We will meet him in person at the Identità Golose Congress late in October, within Identità di Champagne

What a beautiful sip, the 2008 Grande Dame by Maison Veuve Clicquot is. We tasted it online, guided by Didier Mariotti, new chef de cave, in the company since early in his career. «My first job», he says, «was indeed at Moët&Chandon, where I spent five years. I was then lucky enough to work for other Champagne firms with very different styles. Being the eleventh chef de cave in the history of this brand is a pleasure and a stimulus to learn, ask questions, and being ceaselessly curious».

How did you arrive in Champagne?
I was born in 1971 to a family of vintners. My grandfather was originally from Corsica, my grandmother from Burgundy. I became passionate about wine making since an early age. A destiny, a natural choice. I was studying in Nancy when I decided to move to Reims, as an intern, at Moët&Chandon. A six-month internship as agronomist. There I met Dominique Foulon and Richard Geoffroy, famous chefs de cave at Moët&Chandon and Dom Pérignon. A team that, without any doubt, allowed me to acquire a great work experience. I stayed with them for 9 months. After arriving in Champagne by chance, I stayed and I know I was lucky because of the people I met and the way in which my career evolved.

The two versions of the 2008 Grande Dame 

The two versions of the 2008 Grande Dame 

How do you think to work compared to your predecessors?
I’m literally impressed by the work done by my colleagues. I spent four months with Dominique Demarville: before, during and after the 2019 harvest. You need to know the history, the heritage and the true soul of the maison you’re joining. This is extremely important. Veuve Clicquot has one of the largest – no, perhaps the largest -  range of Reserve Wines.

What are, in your opinion, the emblem wines of the Maison?
I believe there are two that truly explain the value of Veuve Clicquot. One is champagne Yellow Label, a sunny expression that underlines the prestige of the palette of reserve wines and of the art of assemblage. The second is La Grande Dame: with its research for balance, it’s a showcase of the excellence of the Maison. It’s a true, timeless tribute to its most precious grape variety: Pinot Noir.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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