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1998 Veuve Clicquot "La Grande Dame" Brut Champagne

SKU #1040404 95 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark The contrast of depth and brightness, or intensity and weightlessness creates a sense of harmonic resonance in this wine. All the aromatics are potent, from the scent of rising bread dough to the red skin of an apple, all the corresponding flavors rich yet refreshing. The firmness of the acidity seems to add briskness to the mousse, leaving a clean, chiseled impression of the chalk soils in which this grew. Once in a while, there is a young beauty who will age into a more profound older beauty; La Grande Dame is part of that rare breed. Inner quote mark (12/2006)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

Outer quote mark Seemingly a bit livelier than the typical Grande Dame, but still a rich wine based on its Pinot Noir heritage, it combines an admirably strong mousse with plenty of acidity and a dried toffee, nutty overlay of burgeoning complexity. Lovely. Inner quote mark (12/2008)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Pale yellow with a steady bead. Orange, lemon, apple, smoky minerals and yeast on the nose. Fleshy orchard fruit flavors coat the palate and are energized by dusty minerals and a fresh jasmine quality. An energetic version of this bottling, with good finishing grip and lingering floral qualities. This gained weight with air: I'd hold off on popping the cork for at least another three years. (JR) Inner quote mark (12/2008)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark A superbly ripe Champagne that has all the open generosity of the 1998 vintage. Peach and apricot aromas are followed by flavors of hazelnuts, honey and spices. Of course, it is still very young, and, like all vintages of La Grande Dame, it will age for many years. (RV) Inner quote mark (11/2006)

92 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark There's plenty of finesse in this sleek Champagne, along with an airy texture and loads of grip. Graphite, lemon, toast and mineral aromas and flavors prevail, and this takes on a chalky edge on the lingering aftertaste. (BS) Inner quote mark (12/2008)

90 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The house's 1998 La Grande Dame reveals notable clarity and precision. This focused, poised wine emerges from the glass with well-articulated flowers, pears, smoke, crisp apples and minerals in a medium-bodied style. The wine appears to have enough freshness and sheer depth to support another decade or so of aging. La Grand Dame represents a significant step up from the estate's other wines. In 1998 La Grande Dame is 64% Pinot Noir (Aÿ, Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay and Bouzy) and 36% Chardonnay (Avize, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger). This is Lot 510 2572, disgorged between December 2006 and January 2007. (AG) Inner quote mark (12/2008)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark An extremely cold winter, with snow on the Montagne de Reims, gave way to an unexpected warm spell with moderate rain showers. Spring was early and wet, but May was particularly hot and dry. The rain we had at the end of June didn’t affect flowering, which took place under excellent, almost heat wave, conditions. At the beginning of summer there were alternating periods of hot weather then rain which encouraged rapid growth. August was perfect for ripening: dry and sunny. After a grey and cloudy two weeks at the beginning of September, the weather turned, providing the ideal dry climate to harvest the grapes, which were in superb condition. 64% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay. Dosage 8 g/l, disgorged June 2008. Pale gold. A little more savoury and spicy than the 2006, even a hint of ginger, lightly honeyed too. But with time in the glass, it seems more floral and exotic and almondy. On the palate, much tighter than I expected from the aroma, a tight cedar-like freshness, really zesty and the emphasis more on freshness than on weight but no lack of intensity. A creamy, full and rounded texture, generous but mouth-watering too. Very satisfying. Fine and lasting mousse -- shown off very well by the Grande Dame glasses. 18/20 points (JH) Inner quote mark (10/2015)

K&L Notes

64% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay.

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Price: $169.99
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By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/26/2011 | Send Email
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I featured this wine at our 7th annual "Premium Champagne tasting" last Saturday (12/10) and it was simply great! It has changed a great deal in the last eight months. It has opened up and is showing elements of stone fruits, toasted nuts and a bit of citrus on the finish. It was tasting very elegant at this point and will still cellar for many years to come.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/16/2009 | Send Email
To say that the retail space at the Louis Vuitton store in Union Square is different from the retail space at K&L Redwood City could qualify as one of the understatements of the year — but that is where I tasted this great Champagne. This wine is as different from the packaging-oriented, priced to "create the image of exclusivity" bottles offered by the big houses as the contrast between the stores. It is more than $100 worth of Champagne in the bottle and I can't think of anything from a grand marquee, at any price, that would suit the near term drinking requirements of the Champagne connoisseur better.

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