A clean, bright appearance, with the lightest hint of green. The nose is intense, with notes of white blossom, citrus fruit (kiwi) and fresh mint. On the palate it is generous, mouth-filling and well-balanced, with a mineral finish. Elegant and easy-drinking in its youth, this wine will age well, developing notes of spice and a certain iodine/saline character. A Picpoul de Pinet that could grace a dining table or be enjoyed as an aperitif, with seafood or cheese.
Jancis Robinson 2016 15 / 20 : Crisp and clean, melon and papaya!
Named after the ‘Grand Lady’ as a tribute to Madame Clicquot, ‘La Grand Dame’ is the flagship and pinnacle of Veuve Clicquot’s style. Elegant, refined and delicate, Grand Dame is the utmost homage to the role she played in the formative years of the Champagne house.
94 points James Suckling
“I drank this in Antibes, France today with some friends and I was pleasantly surprised. I have been pretty underwhelmed with Le Grand Dame recently but the 2004 shows a return to the finesse and balance of the cuvée. A balanced yet dense Champagne with dried apple, pear and hints of bread dough. Very appley and lemony. Pretty strawberry undertones. Full body, bright acidity and a round texture. Refined and flavorful. A little sweeter than some tête de cuvée Champagnes but delicious. One of the more balanced vintages of La Grande Dame. Drink now.” (7/2015)
94 points Wine Enthusiast
*Cellar Selection* “This is a rich and creamy Champagne with a lively mousse, giving it a forward fruit character. Slowly the depth and concentration of the wine come through, with a white fruit flavor and hints of grapefruit and toasty yeast, which all promising good aging.” (9/2012)
94 points Wine Spectator
“Sleek, with mouthwatering acidity and an aromatic base note of chalky minerality, this features well-meshed flavors of black currant pâte de fruit, pastry, candied ginger and almond skin. The finely detailed, creamy mousse lends lasting finesse to the finish. Drink now through 2025.” (11/2013)
93 points Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
(made from fruit grown in eight different grand crus, mostly Verzenay and Avize; lot 5122815): “Vivid gold. Heady aromas of orange, white peach and smoky minerals, with a note of buttered toast adding depth. Densely packed citrus and pit fruit flavors show chewy texture and a bright mineral quality that adds vivacity. Rich but lively and precise, finishing very long, with notes of candied fig and toasty lees.” (12/2013)
91 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“As with the corresponding (and varietally identical) rose, Clicquot’s 2004 Brut La Grande Dame is vivacious and buoyant, with lemon and grapefruit set in entertaining counterpoint to almond paste and vanilla-tinged, tart-edged baked apple. Saline oyster liquor adds another, savory dimension in a lingering finish, while hints of chamomile and jasmine serve for aromatic allure. This delightful bottling might well achieve genuine profundity over the next two or three years.” (DS) (11/2013)
17/20 Jancis Robinson
“61% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay. Six years on lees. Lovely biscuit and brioche richness. Very pure. Laser-like. Quite saline and taut. Still very simple on the palate, but undeniably super quality. Not heavy, but has strength.” (7/2012)
Deep purple red colour, almost black. The nose is pronounced with hints of ripe red fruits, almost jammy. Cherry, fig and dried plum dominate. The attack is concentrated but soft. Natural sugar envelops soft tannins. Aromas of candied fruits cover the back of the palate. Nice balance and good length.
Deep and dark red. Shiny. Aromas of fresh fruits with red berries and spices. Full, round and racy. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensely aromatic wine.
90 Points Wine Enthusiast.
“A perennial favorite, it’s reassuring to see that the quality continues to remain high even from Guigal’s least expensive cuvée. Red fruits—cherries and raspberries—marry easily with hints of clove, cracked pepper, black olive and espresso. It’s round on the midpalate, showing more focus and ample length on the finish.” J.C. (2/1/2015)
Soil type Varied soil, sediment, limestone, granite. Pebbles and Alluvia.
Grape variety 60% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre.
Average age of vines 35 years.
Winemaking Traditional winemakeing methods, temperature controlled fermentation. Long soaking on the skins.
Ageing 1 ½ years in oak foudres.
Average yield 41 Hl / hectare.
Average annual production 3.500.000 bottles.
Tasting Eye : Deep and dark red. Shiny.
Nose : Fresh fruits with red berries and spices.
Palate : Full, round and racy. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensly aromatic wine.
Overall : Full with a long finish and plenty of elegance and finesse due to the well balanced tannins and fruit.
The Guigal Estate was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis, a small ancient village and cradle of the Côte-Rôtie appellation. It shelters a unique vineyard where the vines and the wines have been famous for 2,400 years. Arriving in 1924 at 14 years old, the founder vinfied 67 harvests in Côte-Rôtie and, at the beginning of his career, took part in the development of Vidal-Fleury establishment.
In 1961, although still very young, Marcel Guigal took over management of the Establishment beside his father who was stricken suddenly with total blindness. In 1973, his wife Bernadette joined him and they worked together to develop the family business. In 1975, their son Philippe was born. Today he is the Estate’s winemaker. With his wife Eve by his side, he represents the third generation and continues the family work in the service of the Great Wines of the Rhône Valley.
Since 1946, hard work and perseverence have born fruit and certain events attest to this, notably the purchase of the Vidal-Fleury Establishment in the mid ‘80s. Although belonging to the Guigal Estate, Vidal Fleury maintains commercial and technical autonomy.
Ten years later in 1995 the estate acquired the famous Château d’Ampuis, an important historic and oenological monument whose long history is directly linked to the Côte-Rôtie appellation. An ancient fort built in the 12th century, it was transformed into a Renaissance château in the 16th century. The château is situated amongst the vines and bordered by the king of rivers: the Rhône.
The Château d’Ampuis has become the headquarters of the Guigal Estate whilst the offices and the cellars remain in the ancient small village of Ampuis.
In 2001, the Guigal Estate expanded through the purchase of both the Jean-Louis GRIPPAT Estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage and the VALLOUIT Estate in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.
The GUIGAL Estate vinifies and ages the wines of the Southern Rhône appellations in its cellars in Ampuis. The wines of the great Southern appellations Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône are also aged in these cellars.
In 2006, the Guigal family acquired the Domaine de Bonserine and supports its development although it remains independent from the GUIGAL Estate.
We are not very far from the first few square metres of the small cellar where Etienne Guigal first laboured, but today there are 3 hectares of cellars and galleries which house barrels, tanks and vats. The history and the soul of the Guigal family are clearly present in these cellars which discretely house the most exceptional wines.
Flagship of the Mandois range, this “Cuvée” was made in the honour of Victor Mandois the founder of the Mandois Champagne House back in 1905. It is made exclusively from the Chardonnay grapes. Older vines, from 50 years and more are selected for this “Cuvée”. Naturally low yielding, these vines bring concentration which is also acquired by partial oak ageing. The nose is typically Chardonnay, with citrus notes, elegance and power. On the palate we find a good body with complexity, structure and the perfect balance. The length is simply amazing equalled by an incredible freshness.
Victor 2002, a 100% Chardonnay symphony to honour the old vines from Chouilly and Vertus. Vinified in oak casks, as Victor Mandois used to do more than a century ago. A Blanc de Blancs vintage with an extraordinary ageing potential.
93 Points Wine Enthusiast (2000 vintage).
“A Champagne that is very much wine. The structure and the richness are just right for a food wine, showing ripe acidity, flavors of plums and apricots, and balancing these primary fruits with a dense, complex structure that takes in yeast, maturity and a tight apple skin finish.” 12/1/2008
Thierry Merlin-Cherrier owns 13 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc in the village of Bue, one of the principle hamlets surrounding the old walled town of Sancerre. These soils have a high chalk content and as a result this Sancerre is distinguished by its perfume of citrus and minerals. It has finesse and precision combining typical firm structure with an aromatic, blackcurrant character and an extra richness of gooseberry and lees on a long, zesty finish.