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Date Printed: 8/23/2014
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1996
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1996
(search item no. 88022)
collectible wine

The Wine News rating: 98 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
PRICE ON 8/23/2014: $155.00

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2004 Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
1998 Australian Wine Companion rating: 97 points
1998 Wine & Spirits rating: 95 points
1998 Connoisseurs' Guide rating: 93 points
1998 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1998 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1998 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
1995 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1993 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
1993 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
1989 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points

Winemaker's Notes:

La Grande Dame 1996 is a pale gold-green color with brilliant reflections that are typical of the vintage. Effervescence is delicate and extremely steady.

On the nose this wine is exceptionally elegant. Dominant floral notes (mint and white flowers) mingle with hints of fresh fruit (citrus fruits, fresh almonds). As it undergoes aeration, riper notes of vanilla and nougat come to the fore, giving a pleasant roundness to the wine. At this stage a typical Chardonnay characteristic, crisp elegance, clearly prevails over aromatic strength.

In the mouth, the Pinot Noir reveals its true personality. Fruity notes (white peaches, grapefruit and bergamot) dominate an energetic attack on the palate, which is prolonged by the structure and roundedness of the wine. The balance, a combination of freshness and vigour, is ideal. With a finish that is extremely persistent and clean, mineral notes add force to this noble wine.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Veuve Clicquot:

About Veuve Clicquot:

The House was founded by Philippe Clicquot in 1772. Since its inception, Veuve Clicquot has been a specialist in Champagnes based on Pinot Noir, especially Rosé. In 1803, François Clicquot was married to Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin. Madame Clicquot was widowed just two years later. Veuve Clicquot (Veuve means widow in French) took over her husband's business. In 1810, the house took the name Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. The way that she ran her company, from risky overseas ventures to startling technological innovations, changed Champagne forever. Her motto is still the guiding principle of our company – "Only one quality – the finest."

In 1816, Mme. Clicquot invented the process, called rémuage or riddling, that removes the yeast from the bottle. She used holes cut in her kitchen table to perfect the method of slowly tilting and turning the bottles to gather the spent yeast in the neck of the bottle. Once settled it could be removed by freezing the neck in a brine of salt and water, removing it, and recorking.

The company was taken public in 1963, and merged with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey in 1986. Today, Jacques Peters is the chief winemaker at Veuve Clicquot, and was appointed cellar master in 1985. He has undertaken an ambitious program since this time to upgrade the grape sources, improve the vineyards, and improve the cellars and production facilities.