Today, Veuve Clicquot has become a brand with worldwide success. The Veuve Clicquot myth was created thanks to a woman: Madame Clicquot. It was in 1798 that François Clicquot married the daughter of Baron Nicolas Ponsardin. Son of the founder of the Clicquot Champagne House, he passed on all of his passion to his wife, initiating her into the secrets of champagne-making. When her husband passed away prematurely, at the age of 27, she took over the running of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne House with determination. Guided by an innate sense of innovation and a perpetual quest for perfection, she invented the riddling table and marketed the first blended rosé champagne. Veuve Clicquot has turned this uncompromising requirement into her motto: "Only one quality, the finest".
La Grande Dame 2006 is made from eight of the most prestigious Grands Crus in the Champagne region. Veuve Clicquot's vineyards in Avize, Oger and Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs provide the 47% of Chardonnay to the blend. The 53% of Pinot Noir stems from the Grands Crus of the Montagne de Reims and the Grande Vallée de la Marne, in the villages of Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay, Bouzy and Ay.
Released in 1972 to mark the bicentenary of the Champagne house, "La Grande Dame" pays tribute to Madame Clicquot. A pioneer and visionary woman, Madame Clicquot was known as "La Grande Dame de la Champagne" at the time. It embodies the perfect expression of Pinot Noir and the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin style.
A long, cold winter preceded a contrasting spring. At the end of June, the flowering period took place under scorching conditions. Summer was marked by very contrasting weather conditions, which did not prevent the vineyard from producing a generous and high-quality harvest. The harvest took place from September 14th to 29th. The appearance of Botrytis at the end of the harvest had no impact on the quality of the grapes, thanks to a rigorous sorting.
La Grande Dame 2006 is a blend of Pinot Noir (53%) and Chardonnay (47%).
Intense, the colour reveals subtle golden reflections along with an utterly fine effervescence.
The first nose reveals saline and mineral fragrances enhanced by floral notes of acacia, peony and fresh fruit of vine peach and pear. Warmer nuances of hazelnuts and roasted almonds form a pleasant whole. When aerated, the bouquet becomes more rich and more voluptuous, revealing notes of brioche, nougat, ginger and candied lemon.
Refreshing, this champagne seduces the palate with its silky texture, its full structure and its beautiful chalky minerality, giving a nice length throughout the tasting experience. Fresh and generous, the finish points to a subtle dosage followed by a long ageing period after disgorgement, but which in no way disturbs the natural balance of the wine.