Highlights: Champagne Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008

This is a remarkable wine. It has 92% Pinot Noir, but it has the freshness and focus of a really good Blanc de Blancs. Veuve Clicquot’s prestige cuvée really delivers this vintage.

Grand Dame was first released in 1972 – it was the 1966 vintage that was released then. For the 2008 vintage, there were two changes. First, the look of the bottle. And second, it was the debut vintage of chef de cave Dominique Demarville (who has since left). Usually it is around 60% Pinot Noir, but this vintage is 92%, and the following vintage releases, 2012 and 2015, will both be over 90% Pinot Noir. Previous recent vintages of this wine were 1998, 2004 and 2006.

Champagne Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008 France
12.5% alcohol. 92% Pinot Noir and 8% Chardonnay, all stainless steel fermented. Disgorged October 2018. 6 g/l dosage. Only Grand Cru vineyards. For Pinot Noir these are Ambonnay, Aÿ, Bouzy, Verzennay and Verzy, and for Chardonnay they are Avize, Le Mesnil, Oger. This is pristine. It’s very bright and focused with brisk, tart lemony fruit and a hint of cherry. Very refined and exquisitely balanced with absolute purity and focus. You would never know this had spent almost a decade on its lees, and you’d never spot it as 92% Pinot Noir! So refined and taut and mineral with amazing brightness and precision. Expensive, but very fine indeed. 96/100

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