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Veuve Clicquot unveils La Grande Dame Rosé 2015

The Champagne stalwart’s prestige cuvée, La Grande Dame Rosé 2015, is being launched as an expression of “optimism through colour”.

Veuve Clicquot has unveiled the tenth edition of its La Grande Dame Rosé, a Pinot Noir dominated blend from the 2015 vintage. The La Grande Dame range, first released in 1972 with the 1960 vintage, pays tribute to the house’s namesake, Madame Clicquot. Both its white and rosé expressions are considered among the house’s most prestigious offerings.

The La Grande Dame Rosé 2015 pays tribute to Madame Clicquot in two ways. Firstly, it follows a distinguished tradition of vintage Champagnes. It is believed Madame Clicquot created the first single harvest Champagne in 1810.

It also celebrates her role in changing production methods for rosé. Her 1818 rosé is believed to have been the first to blend red wine into the white Champagne. In time, the blending method – or rosé d’assemblage – took hold to the extent that it now dominates rosé Champagne production. Previously, records from Ruinart indicate, they would have been made using the extended maceration of red varieties.

The sparkling component of the new vintage comprises 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The grapes were sourced from a number of Champagne’s most renowned crus: Pinot Noir from Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay, Bouzy and Aÿ, and Chardonnay from Avize and Mesnil-sur-Oger.

The Pinot Noir red wine that finishes the release, meanwhile, comes from the 1.3 hectare ‘Clos Colin’ parcel in Bouzy. ‘Clos Colin’ was acquired by the house in 1741 and expanded by Madame Clicquot herself. The site, thanks to high intensity light and well-drained clay-limestone soils, was selected for its ripe tannins and concentrated aromas.

The house has billed the 2015 vintage release as “optimism through colour”. At the release event, they described it as an “exceptional year” with low rainfall and ample sunshine.

Speaking extensively to db’s Giles Fallowfield last year, Veuve Clicquot cellar master Didier Mariotti extolled the 2015 vintage: “it was a generous, solar vintage.” The discussion marked the release of 2015’s white edition of La Grande Dame, succeeding the 2012 vintage cuvée. “In terms of yield 2015 was quite generous compared to 2012,” Mariotti said, “and ’15 is more of a ‘Pinot Noir’ year.”

The new vintage will be released this year at an RRP of £225 for the 75cl bottle. Like its white sister cuvée, La Grande Dame 2015, its packaging will be designed by Italian ceramic artist Paola Paronetto. She follows in the footsteps of Yayoi Kasuma, who designed packaging for the 2012 vintage.

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