Tasted: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2012

Yayoi Kusama’s bubbly (or rather polka dotty) design contributes, but wow, what a wine the 2012 edition is! The ’new’ La Grande Dame was first created by chef de cave Dominique Demarville in 2008 as almost a blanc de noirs. But for the 2012 (an excellent harvest, a real contender to the 2008) La Grande Dame they have managed to further fine-tune its precision and purity.

Soft yet coolly fruity and harmonious on the nose with lemon confit, sweet apricot, vanilla, refined smoke and buttery pastry notes. Complex but for the time reserved, promising longevity and sitting perfectly between reductive and oxidative. On the palate the balance is impeccable with such invigorating tension and stylish salinity. Much more driven, tight-packed and fine that we are used to expect from this cuvée. Fresh and elegant to the degree that it is tough to imagine it has 90% Pinot Noir.

the 2012 is an assemblage of 90% Pinot Noir from the house’s historic plots in Verzenay, Verzy, Aÿ, Ambonnay and Bouzy. The remainder of Chardonnay comes from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Avize. The wine spent seven years on lees. Perfectly dosed at 6g/l under the auspices of current chef de cave Didier Mariotti, who is seemingly thriving at Clicquot!

95 points with potential for 97.