Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1996
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International Wine CellarDeep, highly complex aromas of citrus skin, nutmeg, porcini mushroom, toasted almond and clove. Rich, dry and impressively deep; superconcentrated and oily. A chewy, spicy Champagne that seemed to grow fresher as it opened in the glass. Really explosive on the aftertaste, finishing with a clinging quality and powerful spicy, nutty flavors. A major mouthful of Champagne, at its best at the dinner table. Displays the combination of high ripeness and high acidity of this vintage at its best. This thick, rich, very powerful wine is still a bit youthfully disorganized and will be even better for a few years of additional aging. One of the standouts of my recent tastings.
Wine AdvocateTightly-packed with notes of citrus oil, orange rind, white peach, honeysuckle, and brioche, the medium to full-bodied 1996 La Grande Dame Brut should age well for 15-20 years. Crisp, fresh, and backward, it is another brilliant example from the exquisite 1996 vintage.
Wine SpectatorFloral, citrus, berry and whole-grain bread notes permeate this intense, well-toned Champagne. It's pleasantly grainy in texture on the long, satisfying finish. Drink now through 2008.
Wine EnthusiastIn five years, this rating may look conservative, as this wine seems to have the building blocks upon which to age well. Right now, it's tight and citrusy, with some riper pear notes and a creamy midpalate. Expect this to develop richer toast and nut nuances, and for the grapefruity finish to soften and become more harmonious.