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First taste: La Grande Dame 2008

Veuve Cliquot has released the prestige cuvée La Grande Dame 2008. Michael Edwards tastes both the white and rosé for Decanter Premium...

The 2008 vintage is blended with significantly more Pinot Noir – 92% – than in previous Grand Dame vintages, which have had a higher proportion of Chardonnay.

Chef de cave Dominique Demarville said, in 2015, that ‘It’s not because we want to dramatically change the style of La Grande Dame, but because we want to play the game of the elegance of Pinot Noir.’

The blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is the same in the rosé.

The Pinot was mostly sourced from the cooler Northern Montagne for extra elegance and freshness.

Traditionally the Grande Dame wines were fermented in stainless steel tanks, but from 2008, small portions have been aged in large oak foudres to add further complexity.

The first vintage of La Grande Dame – of which only 6,000 bottles were made – was 1962, and the first to be released commercially was 1966, launched in 1972.

In his tasting notes, Michael Edwards describes the 2008 white as the perfect ‘aperitif Champagne‘ and the rosé as the ‘Chambolle of Champagne.

First taste: La Grande Dame 2008