Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame is a strong champagne for kick-arse chicks wanting to make their mark in a man’s world.
The legend of La Grande Dame
La Grande Dame herself, Madame Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, for whom the wine is named was born in 1777…. a time when women had NOTHING to do with business.
And yet when her husband died, she took over the family business, turned it into a household name, expanded to all four corners of the globe, pioneered the riddling technique to make champagne better, invented rosé champagne (that alone would have won a place in my heart!)…. and she lived until she was 89 years old! An astounding achievement in a time when lives were really rather short (see… champagne IS good for you!)
The legend of the wine
And not only is the legend of La Grande Dame epic, the wine named in her honour is also legendary. I actually think the 2004 still needs a few years before it will be at its best drinking so the current vintage (2006) definitely needs more time.
I have a preference for long ageing of this wine because the first La Grande Dame I tasted was the 1990… and I tasted it circa 2009 so it was mature and spectacular. Anything less now seems under-done.
After the 1990, the next release was the 1998. And I tried a lot of this vintage over a number of years because it had become a firm favourite and…
- the house didn’t release any new La Grande Dame between 1998 and 2004 and
- there was a lot of 1998 available.
Over those six years, I got to taste the 1998 as it matured… which is who I’ve come to think it’s best enjoyed with a lot of extra years under the belt.
Tasting at Veuve Clicquot cellars in Reims, France, July 2018
The 2006 blend is a fairly even match of 53% Pinot Noir and 47% Chardonnay and 8g/l.
BUT… don’t get too comfortable with that style! Dramatically, the next release of the La Grande Dame (the 2008, due for release in 2018) will be nearly 95% pinot noir! The style will become completely different so the 2006 will be the very last release of the fresh VC style we’ve come to know and love. So get your hands on this and as many back vintages as you can NOW before it becomes something completely different for the next release!
Trying these for homework? Make sure you post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubblebible #champagneschool and let me know what you think
Main image credit – Veuve Clicquot
Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country.