Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame, Champagne, France, 2008
Tasted by Michael Edwards (at Moet HQ, London, 17 Feb 2019)
Part of Veuve Clicquot: Producer profile
Tasting Score: 97
Drinking Window: 2020 - 2030
Producer: Veuve Clicquot
Wine Type: Sparkling
Time in Oak: 12 months
8% Chardonnay, 92% Pinot Noir
A classic, slow-maturing year picked into October. It's a pale, pristine hue - a beautifully assembled mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, combining saline-wrapped orchard fruits with great Pinot Noir subtlety yet strength. THE aperitif Champagne, but also try with sea trout.
This is a sunny and delicious 2008, with brightness infusing the wine, from its platinum color to its mineral intensity, transforming its richness and power into cool elegance. Notes of agave and cassia bark add depth, suggesting the complexity this will develop with further bottle age. Moet Hennessy USA, NY (12/18)
By Wine Spectator
VEUVE CLICQUOT Brut Champagne La Grande Dame 2008
Issue: Nov 30, 2018
An elegant Champagne, powered by a sculpted frame of acidity and minerality, this wears the refined, lacy mousse and well-meshed flavors of black currant, lemon curd, toast and marzipan like finely tailored clothing. Fresh and lasting, with hints of spice and smoke on the finish. Disgorged August 2016. Drink now through 2033. -AN
By Wine Enthusiast
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 2008 La Grande Dame Brut (Champagne)
Designation: La Grande Dame Brut
Variety: Champagne Blend, Sparkling
Appellation: Champagne, Champagne, France
Winery: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin
Bottle Size: 750.00 ml
Importer: Moët Hennessy USA
Date Published: 12/1/2018
This rich Champagne is dominated, as usual, by Pinot Noir. Its ripe fruit is approaching maturity, the hints of toast and croissant becoming more apparent. It is balanced, rich but textured and with an opulent, ripe aftertaste. Drink now.
By Jancis Robinson
Veuve Clicquot, La Grande Dame 2008 Champagne
Producer: Veuve Clicquot
When to drink: 2021 - 2030
Published: 12 Apr 2019
Date tasted: 6 Apr 2019
Reviewer: Jancis Robinson
92% Pinot Noir from Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy and Verzenay plus 8% Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Aged for 10 years with a final dosage of 6 g/l. Chef de cave Dominique Demarville says his aim is to express 'the finesse and elegance that the Pinot Noir offers us in these Grands Crus ... to combine depth and silkiness with lightness and elegance.'
Still very taut indeed. I would not choose to drink this yet. The acidity of the vintage is still the dominant characteristic. In fact, if I had to serve this now, I might even consider decanting it. There's a lot there, and it's admirably persistent, but for the moment it seems buried. Nothing like the opulence of Dom Pérignon 2008, also from LVMH, but perhaps this is deliberate positioning? Admirably long.
By Veuve Clicquot
La Grande Dame 2008
Created in 1962 and launched in 1972 to celebrate the bicentenary of the House, La Grande Dame is a wine that is both a tribute to Madame Clicquot and the reflection of the Veuve Clicquot terroir. When it comes to describing the style of La Grande Dame, the following four words would summarize it well: freshness, silkiness, elegance, and minerality. Pursuing this quest for perfection, Dominique Demarville, Veuve Clicquot's inspired Cellar Master reveals his very first La Grande Dame creation via this new vintage: La Grande Dame 2008.
The spring of 2008 was cool and rainy. Thanks to an also cool but dry summer, the grapes ripened in excellent conditions. Several factors were taken into consideration to make the 2008 La Grande Dame cuvee in respecting tradition and the House's quest for excellence: the exceptional quality of the grapes, and most importantly a remarkable acidity which recalled other extraordinary vintages at Veuve Clicquot, such as 1995, 1985, and 1979.
La Grande Dame 2008 is an exclusive blend of 6 of the House's eight historical Grands Crus. The cuvee is made of 92% Pinot Noir (Ay, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay) and 8% Chardonnay (Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger).
As a constant hallmark of the House's style, the predominance of Pinot Noir provides the structure that is so typically Veuve Clicquot. However, for this specific vintage of La Grande Dame, the proportion of Pinot Noir was taken to another level (92%) by Dominique Demarville - one of the highest ever at Veuve Clicquot - as a true testimony of Madame Clicquot's heritage and a tribute to her fondness for structure and strength.
Dominique Demarville states: "My vision is to bring La Grande Dame towards the finesse and elegance that the Pinot Noir offers us in these Grands Crus. In a way, this is the Veuve Clicquot twist: to combine depth and silkiness with lightness and elegance in this exceptional cuvee". According to the tradition and standards of reference of the House, the cuvee has been aged for ten years in Veuve Clicquot's century-old cellars.
On the eye, La Grande Dame 2008 light gold color has a surprising glint. The initial nose reveals a strong attack, both aerial and delicate. Upon being released, it presents notes of dried fruits (almonds, figs, apricots), ripe white fruits (pears), and finally, subtle toasted notes of hazelnut and praline. Thus, those luscious pastry notes are well balanced with the blend's freshness and clarity.
On the palate, the attack is strong and sharp. La Grande Dame 2008 bestows a silky texture upon young fruits, carried by citrus and red fruits (cherry) notes. Pinot Noir, the signature of the Veuve Clicquot's style, shines extraordinarily by its freshness, minerality, and power. La Grande Dame 2008 is a perfect combination of complexity, structure, and strength.
This unites into an elegant and perfect balance of freshness and structure, highlighted by the perfect dosage (6 g/l) that resonates with this cuvee's tension. This cuvee, without any doubt, foretells an amazing aging potential.
The Food Pairing
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2008 is a great wine for gastronomy. This cuvee will pair extremely well with oysters, fish tartare, seafood or even chicken with sesame.
Crus: Grands Crus (Blend of six of the House's eight historical Grands Crus)
Grape Varieties: 92% Pinot Noir, 8% Chardonnay
Reserve Wines: 0% (100% vintage)
Palate: Citrus and red fruits. Minerality and power.
Food Pairing: Oysters, fish tartare, seafood, chicken
Serving Temperature: 10-12 degrees C
Aging Potential: 15 years
[Information provided by Fedway]
By Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2008 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame
Variety: Proprietary Blend
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Drink Date: 2018 - 2028
Reviewed by William Kelley
Issue Date: 30th Apr 2019
Source: Issue 242 End of April 2019, The Wine Advocate
The 2008 La Grande Dame offers up subtle aromas of honeycomb, crisp orchard fruit and brioche, followed by a medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy palate, with a frothy mousse, ripe acids and little in the way of concentration, concluding with a somewhat fleeting finish. The overall impression is disappointingly anonymous, especially in the context of the vintage and the track record of this generally dependable cuvée. This example was disgorged in May 2017. Can it really be a representative bottle?