Champagne Radar

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Champagne Radar

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2012

Last week I had the fortune of sitting with @gaellegoossens and discussing (at length) this new release from Veuve. This bottle the @yayoikusama_ limited release with artwork on the label and box (the juice inside is the same!). I was not a big fan of the redesigned label and actually feel what Yayoi Kusama has done balances out the off centred lettering nicely! I'll leave you all to judge the box.

With the introduction of the 2008, released a few years ago and greatly enjoyed by me, Veuve (and specifically the then winemaker Dominique Demarville) chose to reinvent this great Prestige wine by introducing a much higher percentage of Pinot Noir. This, the second release is 90% Pinot from Bouzy, Ay, Ambonnay, Verzy and Verzennay. The rest is made up with Chardonnay from Avize and Mesnil.


The 2008 was a fresh bomb of a wine, needing plenty of time to come round. This however, even so close to it's disgorgement was delightfully easy from the second you opened it.
The nose was nice and round on first opening. Super fresh, crisp and light. It is clearly fruity and forward but with a purity and finesse that takes it up to the next level.

It seems to balance so brilliantly which, at such a young age, makes you really wonder about the blend. Can it seriously be 90% Pinot!? It is full of white flowers, sweet pear and hints of apricot and lemon.

As it opens hints of soft fudge and lemon sherbert start to reveal themselves. The mousse remains beautifully sweet and creamy.

Finally, after a good hour or two the profiles of both Verzy and Verzenay kick in on the front end. Notes of blueberry and blackcurrant and then paradoxically you sense a lot more of Mesnil on the back end with hints of fresh grapefruit and some candied orange.

This is definitely a La Grande Dame for drinking now. I suspect we will be drinking this all up waiting for the '08 to enter its window! And what fun that will be!

Thank you @aschwin_vg for sorting this bottle out and @gaellegoossens for taking the time to talk me through it.
Peter Crawford