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Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1998

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • JH97
  • W&S95
  • CG93
  • WE92
  • WS92
12.5% ABV
  • WS95
  • W&S95
  • D95
  • WE94
  • JS94
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • D95
  • WE94
  • WS94
  • W&S90
  • RP95
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • W&S94
  • WS94
  • RP92
  • W&S94
  • WE91
  • WS92
  • WE90
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4.3 8 Ratings
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4.3 8 Ratings
12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Blend: 64% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay

La Grande Dame 1998 has a pale gold color with jade glints. The wine is crystal clear, with unbelievably fine bubbles.

On the first nose, typical Chardonnay characteristics come to the fore, with the arrival of floral and mineral aromas (acacia, ferns, chalk). By agitating the wine, scents of candied fruit (citrus fruits, apricots, quince) and sweet almond emerge, to reappear later in the mouth. After rotating the wine for a few minutes more, rare notes such as peaty malt, tobacco and delicate herbs, are gradually unveiled.

This aromatic, impressively complex bouquet is confirmed in the mouth. On the palate, the wine is clear-cut and pure, perfectly balanced with a delightful silky smoothness. La Grande Dame 1998, with its lace-like construction, has a long, lively, and structured finish.

This wine has unbelievable aging potential. The 1998 vintage of La Grande Dame, the quintessence of the Veuve Clicquot style, reaches a peak of refinement, without losing its legendary strength produced by a blend including nearly two-thirds of Pinot Noir.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JH 97
Australian Wine Companion
First made in 1969 to honour Nicole-Barbe Clicquot Ponsardin, the 27-year-old widow (veuve) who had to take control of the House after the sudden death of her husband. It is a blend of two-thirds pinot noir, one-third chardonnay, almost entirely sourced from the 382 hectares of estate vineyards (dwarfed by the grapes supplied each year by 1200 growers). Full gold, it is still remarkably youthful, reflecting its long time on lees. There are plenty of brioche and dried fruit undertones, but it is its vibrantly fresh, lilting finish and glorious aftertaste that inspires.
W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
The contrast of depth and brightness, or intensity and weightlessness creates a sense of harmonic resonance in this wine. All the aromatics are potent, from the scent of rising bread dough to the red skin of an apple, all the corresponding flavors rich yet refreshing. The firmness of the acidity seems to add briskness to the mousse, leaving a clean, chiseled impression of the chalk soils in which this grew. Once in a while, there is a young beauty who will age into a more profound older beauty: La Grande Dame is part of that rare breed.
CG 93
Connoisseurs' Guide
64% Pinot Noir; 36% Chardonnay. Seemingly a bit livelier than the typical Grande Dame, but still a rich wine based on its Pinot Noir heritage, it combines an admirably strong mousse with plenty of acidity and a dried toffee, nutty overlay of burgeoning complexity. Lovely.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A superbly ripe Champagne that has all the open generosity of the 1998 vintage. Peach and apricot aromas are followed by flavors of hazelnuts, honey and spices. Of course, it is still very young, and, like all vintages of La Grande Dame, it will age for many years.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
There's plenty of finesse in this sleek Champagne, along with an airy texture and loads of grip. Graphite, lemon, toast and mineral aromas and flavors prevail, and this takes on a chalky edge on the lingering aftertaste. Best from 2010 through 2028.
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Veuve Clicquot

Veuve Clicquot

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Veuve Clicquot, Champagne, France
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When he founded his wine merchant business under the label "Clicquot" in 1772, Philippe Clicquot had a clear ambition: cross all borders. He conquered Europe and then Russia in 1780, followed by the United States in 1782. He was joined at the head of the House in 1798 by his son, François Clicquot, who had recently married Barbe Ponsardin. Seven years later, following the untimely death of François Clicquot, his young widow ("veuve" in French), just 27 years old, took over the family business.

Over the course of her lifetime, Madame Clicquot developed three of the most important innovations in Champagne, that remain in practice today. She demonstrated her innovative spirit in 1810 by producing the first vintage wine in Champagne. In 1816, she invented the riddling table as a way to clarify her champagne, and by doing so, she improved both the quality and finesse of the wines. Never one to rest on her laurels, in 1818 Madame Clicquot created the first rose champagne made through assemblage, a method where white wines are blended with red wines.

Faithful to the values of creativity and innovation passed on by Madame Clicquot, the Maison marked its bottles with its first yellow label in 1877, making the brand distinctive and instantly recognizable. Today, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is the signature champagne of the House, and distinguishes itself through the dominance of Pinot Noir, which gives strength, complexity and elegance to the champagne.

Champagne

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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.

Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.

CGM2184_1998 Item# 92241