1996 Veuve Clicquot "La Grande Dame" Brut Champagne
*Three Stars* Rich, polished and layered, this gorgeously crafted wine delivers a most enjoyable and sophisticated nose of roasted lemons, water crackers, hints of honey and austere but always supportive citrusy fruit. Its foamy, creamy mousse hits just the right note for the deep, complex and wonderfully refined flavors, and its long, engaging finish adds even more to like.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tightly-packed with notes of citrus oil, orange rind, white peach, honeysuckle, and brioche, the medium to full-bodied 1996 La Grande Dame Brut should age well for 15-20 years. Crisp, fresh, and backward, it is another brilliant example from the exquisite 1996 vintage. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Deep, highly complex aromas of citrus skin, nutmeg, porcini mushroom, toasted almond and clove. Rich, dry and impressively deep; superconcentrated and oily. A chewy, spicy Champagne that seemed to grow fresher as it opened in the glass. Really explosive on the aftertaste, finishing with a clinging quality and powerful spicy, nutty flavors. A major mouthful of Champagne, at its best at the dinner table. Displays the combination of high ripeness and high acidity of this vintage at its best... (ST)
Wine & Spirits
The flavors of this wine are as colorful and joyous as a Marimekko print, with the yellows of chamomile, the reds of currants and wild strawberries. Bright as they are, the flavors have matured into full-bodied richness and smooth, silken elegance. A festive wine for langoustines or lobster thermidor.
Selected from the eight grand cru villages in which Madame owned vineyards, this lean, youthful wine is delicious now but could use additional bottle age to broaden out. Toasty and citrusy, there’s a lot of fruit here, yet it retains a great sense of elegance.
A touch cheesy in aroma, this settles into apple, peach and hazelnut flavors. On the sharp side, with a grainy texture that emerges on the finish. A powerful, dry Champagne, with a biscuitlike aftertaste. Needs food. (BS)