Veuve Clicquot : La Grande Dame by Yayoi Kusama 2012
The precision and balance of a fine vintage champagne
Today, Veuve Clicquot has become a brand with worldwide success and the Veuve Clicquot myth was created thanks to a woman: Madame Clicquot. It was in 1798 that François Clicquot married the daughter of Baron Nicolas Ponsardin. Son of the founder of the Clicquot Champagne House, he passed on all of his passion to his wife, initiating her into the secrets of champagne-making. When her husband passed away prematurely, at the age of 27, she took over the reins of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne House with determination. Guided by an innate sense of innovation and a perpetual quest for perfection, she invented the riddling table and marketed the first blended rosé champagne. Veuve Clicquot has turned this uncompromising requirement into her motto: "Only one quality, the finest".
With 390 hectares of land, Veuve Clicquot has one of the largest vineyards in the Champagne region. This vineyard is also exceptional in its quality, as it is spread over 12 of the 17 Grands Crus and 20 of the 44 Premiers Crus of the Champagne region.
An original and unique creation by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, La Grande Dame 2012 pays tribute to the "Grande Dame of Champagne", Madame Clicquot. The artist has used her signature polka dots and flowers to decorate both the case and bottle of La Grande Dame 2012.
This exceptional vintage champagne is made from grapes coming mainly from Grands Crus and the house’s historical plots, among the most prestigious in Champagne.
Respecting Madame Clicquot's wishes, La Grande Dame 2012 celebrates Pinot Noir, the house’s iconic grape variety that gives Veuve Clicquot its vinous character and structure.
The year 2012 was marked by particularly unstable weather conditions. While spring began with rainfall, 60% above the average, a late frost followed, as well as violent hailstorms that had a severe impact on more than 1000 hectares of the Champagne region's vineyards. Frost, heavy rain, storms, hail and cold succeeded one another up until the middle of the flowering period. Hot and dry weather conditions appeared during the summer months and lasted until the end of the harvest.
A perfect expression of this sun-soaked vintage despite low yields, the harvested grapes are ripe and balanced, reminiscent of the 1989 and 2002 harvests. A changeable year weather-wise, 2012 exceeded the winemakers' expectations by proving to be an exceptional year. Despite the small quantity of grapes harvested, many reasons convinced the Cellar Master to declare the 2012 vintage and give birth to a new edition of La Grande Dame.
Vinification and ageing
Veuve Clicquot's 2012 Grande Dame is aged for more than 7 years in the company's century-old chalk cellars.
For this 2012 La Grande Dame vintage, Pinot Noir represents 90% of the blend with grapes from historic Grands Crus such as Aÿ, Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay and Bouzy. The remaining 10% is completed by Chardonnay from the Grands Crus of Avize and Mesnil-sur-Oger.
Veuve Clicquot's La Grande Dame 2012 by Yayoi Kusama: Characteristics and tasting tips
Fresh and delicate, the aromatic bouquet opens with floral (jasmine, honeysuckle, vine flower) and fruity (gooseberry, pear) fragrances. Following aeration, notes of fresh almonds and frangipane are revealed, as well as flint, pencil lead and hot stone.
A refreshing attack precedes a silky palate with a rich aromatic range. Aromas of candied fruit, citrus peel and dried apricot mingle harmoniously with notes of hazelnut, honey and rock sugar. The palate is seductive due to its silky structure, elegance and character. As it evolves over time, this vintage champagne will develop its aromatic complexity, suppleness and depth.
Food and wine pairing
The Grande Dame 2012 Veuve Clicquot by Yayoi Kusama will complement dishes with fresh vegetables, fresh herbs or freshly picked fruit.
In order to fully savour the complexity of this fine vintage champagne by Veuve Clicquot, it is recommended to serve between 10 and 12°C.
A vintage champagne from an exceptional year, La Grande Dame 2012 Veuve Clicquot by Yayoi Kusama can be cellared until 2030-2035.