La Grande Dame
Madame Clicquot, the innovative woman known as la Grande Dame of Champagne, took the reins of Veuve Clicquot in 1805. La Grande Dame is the prestige cuvée of Veuve Clicquot and was launched for the 200th anniversary of the Maison in 1972.
Madame Clicquot believed that Pinot Noir had the broadest range of expression and potential to create the best champagne:
“Our black grapes give the finest white wines.”
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2012, is a showcase of the House’s excellence. It perfectly expresses its love for Pinot Noir, which since the 2008 vintage, has represented over 90% of the blend. Pinot Noir dominates the blend, magnified by 10% Chardonnay, with grapes from the villages of Aÿ, Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay, Bouzy. The 10% Chardonnay comes from the Grands Crus Avize and Mesnil-sur-Oger.
”La Grande Dame 2012 is a wine that is both precise and delicate. It is playful, lively, laughing. This new vintage offers a strong minerality carried by Pinot Noir balanced with the freshness of the blend. Its aging potential is immense, it is a wine whose tasting makes me vibrate.”
Didier Mariotti, Veuve Clicquot Cellar Master
The iconic Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, sends a cheerful message to the whole world by imagining a joyful and colourful creation specifically made for Veuve Clicquot.
A vibrant flower symbolizing the celebration of life. The polka dots, Yayoi Kusama’s signature pattern, are reworked like champagne bubbles to embody La Grande Dame 2012. Alternatively a flower wraps La Grande Dame 2012 Magnum, which was crafted from more than 250 hours of work, and is available in only 100 numbered pieces.
This is not the first time these two powerful females have collaborated. Previously in 2006, Yayoi Kusama had already played with her famous polka dots by revivifying the original portrait of Madame Clicquot for a charity auction in Tokyo. So, the dialogue between the artist and the Maison has never stopped and has reached another milestone in its most inspiring and sharing ways.
With its highly variable weather, few could have predicted the outcome of the 2012 harvest. In the spring, rainfall was 60% above average, followed by late frost and severe hailstorms that devastated more than 1,000 hectares of Champagne vineyards. Mildness however prevailed, and nature brought warmth and dry summer weather. The summer season established itself in mid-August with perfect sunshine conditions, very dry weather and high temperatures until the end of the harvest, producing high-quality grapes with good maturity and balance, similar to those of 1989 and 2002.
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru | Pinot Noir from the Grands Crus vineyard and historic plots in Aÿ in the Grande vallee de la Marne and Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzenay, Verzy in the Montagne de Reims | Chardonnay from two villages of Côte des Blancs Avize & Le Mesnil-sur-Oger
Grape Varieties: 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay
Ageing: 7 years on the lees
Disgorged: September 2019
Dosage: 6 g/l
Drink: Now to 2030
Essi Avellan MW EssiAvellan.com | 95→97/100
“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.”
Antonio Galloni | 93/100
““The 2012 La Grande Dame is terrific. In fact, it is one of the finest recent Grande Dames I can remember tasting. Vibrant and tense, the 2012 exudes energy. At this stage, the natural richness of the 2012 vintage is hidden behind the wine’s bright, salivating acids. Green apple, pear, mint and white pepper add a brilliant aromatic top register. I would cellar the 2012 for at least a few years, as it is nowhere near ready to drink. ”
Fresh vegetables pair fantastically well with La Grande Dame, offering infinite possibilities through an aromatic palette. Freshly picked vegetables, herbs, fruits cooked extremely fresh with the outmost expressive power, intensity and complexity of aromas.
The Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame x Yayoi Kusama will be available from mid September 2021. Pre-order here