100% Chardonnay, this is a crisp Champagne with fantastic depth of flavour and a long, biscuity finish. Light yellow with green tints. Refined, mature nose blending brioche, mineral and toast notes backed by delicate fruit. The palate shows seductively refined texture, ethereal fullness, freshness and minerality.
Ruby-red hue. The nose is as remarkable as ever with pronounced fruity notes of blackcurrant, elderberry and a hint of fruit cake. Slightly woody and liquorice-like aromas then start to come through. On entry to the palate, the wine is clean, with a silky elegance and good balance. The 2014 preserves the characteristic style and attractive personality of the previous vintages. There are notes of menthol and spice on the palate, while the Mourvèdre provides a strong typical character and a nice complexity to the whole. A beautiful vintage with good cellar-ageing potential.
12 months in oak barrels (30 % new wood, 40 % barrels used for one vintage, 30% barrels used for two vintages).
Jancis Robinson 2016
17.5 – / 20 : Glossy intensity spreads across the palate …
Ruby-red robe and a pronounced nose of black fruit, fresh figs and prunes. Clean and crisp on the palate, with notes of garrigue scrubland, spices and quince. Fine tannins, ending with a hint of truffle. Well-balanced and elegant, with very good ageing potential.
16.5/20 Jancis Robinson.
“Syrah, Grenache and a bit of Cinsault. Pure delicious red fruit on the nose. Sweet rounded cherry and plum swathed in a sinewy, slightly rugged, leather strap of tannins. The taut refined acidity, that is such a hallmark of Calmel & Joseph, strims through the sweetness of the fruit like a blade, leaving freshness and just a hint of earthy spice in its wake. Just a little Cinsault, and yet it brings it distinctive soprano note into the deeper alto and bass tones of the Syrah and Grenache.”
A pale yellow wine with lively, harmonious bubbles and a nose that opens with floral notes, developing after a few seconds in the glass into more fruity aromas dominated by white peach and green apple. On the palate it is creamy and well-balanced, with a pleasantly bitter finish. Perfect as an aperitif or with a meal.
Aromas of green apple and citrus mineral notes make for a delightful start to this traditional sparkler. The Brut NV offers bright, crisp acidity complimented by a touch of yeast on the delightfully long finish. Aged en Tirage for a minimum of 24 months
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)
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.
– The Cristal 2008 is deep, intense and masterful. It offers the quintessential reflection of its chalk soils which lend it its velvety texture and delicate tension. Amber hue with green and orange tints. Fine, even and lively sparkle.
Complex and intense bouquet disclosing candied citrus, yellow fruit, Williams pear, pollen and toasted almond. The delicately seductive bouquet shows intensity and well-honed precision.
The wine is powerful, full yet tight, on entry to the palate. The 2008 is undeniably well structured but in a particular way: the wine’s almost saline concentration has not been created by the sun, but is derived from the dryness of the chalk soil in a particularly cool summer.
The result is a smooth, almost liquorous, mouthfeel that coats the palate with a powerful yet soft texture. This gives way to an incredible finish, underpinned by freshness and an impression of absolute purity with a taut and very saline character.