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Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Brut Rosé
8% chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, 92% pinot noir (37% Verzy, 23% Bouzy, 14% Verzenay, 14% Aÿ, 4% Ambonnay); 60–70% estate vineyards; La Grande Dame with 14% Clos Colin Bouzy pinot noir red wine; aged 8 years on lees; 6g/L dosage; cork
Clicquot’s Vintage Rosé’s ideal is for the grapes to speak, and La Grande Dame Rosé’s mandate is for the soil to speak. And speak it does, like never before in 2008, with an avalanche of tumbling fury of chalk minerality that melds so seamlessly with very fine, impeccably managed tannins that it’s impossible to detect where one finishes and the other starts. Clos Colin delivers a red wine of folkloric magnificence, building a medium salmon copper tint. This is a rosé of enormous energy and potential, bolting a grand body of pinot noir lines and curves to a rigid chassis of tremendous endurance. It swoops and dives with the wonderful fragrance of pinot noir in notes of rose hip, pink pepper, granny smith apple, tangy morello cherry, crunchy strawberry hull and fresh pomegranate, true to the perfumed and understated mood of the northern Montagne de Reims. Hints of grilled-toast reductive complexity lead out, underscoring hints of anise. So lively and primary is it that there are no hints of secondary development yet, with just one bottle hinting at but the briefest air of French pâtisserie. The enduring acid line of this great season marks out a finish of high-tensile definition, epitomising the energy and poise of the glorious, bracingly cool slopes of Verzy and Verzenay, playing pinot’s most operatic soprano notes, underlined by the heightened, ultra-fine, chalky minerality of six of the most enduring grand crus. A cuvée of great line, length and enduring potential, it’s set to go down among the longest-lived rosés of the modern era. Demanding at least another decade to show its full flare, it will reward those with the stamina to wait until at least 2028, and promises to power on for many decades beyond. 97 points - Tyson Stelzer
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