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Professional Ratings: 95 Wine Spectator, 95 The Wine Advocate, 95 International Wine Cellar
Region: Champagne, France
Varietal: Vintage Sparkling Wine
Item no. 78338
La Grande Dame 1996 is a pale gold-green color with brilliant reflections that are typical of the vintage. Effervescence is delicate and extremely steady.
On the nose this wine is exceptionally elegant. Dominant floral notes (mint and white flowers) mingle with hints of fresh fruit (citrus fruits, fresh almonds). As it undergoes aeration, riper notes of vanilla and nougat come to the fore, giving a pleasant roundness to the wine. At this stage a typical Chardonnay characteristic, crisp elegance, clearly prevails over aromatic strength.
In the mouth, the Pinot Noir reveals its true personality. Fruity notes (white peaches, grapefruit and bergamot) dominate an energetic attack on the palate, which is prolonged by the structure and roundedness of the wine. The balance, a combination of freshness and vigour, is ideal. With a finish that is extremely persistent and clean, mineral notes add force to this noble wine.
La Grande Dame 1996 is based on a blend of eight Grands Crus traditionally used for this wine. The blend is dominated by Pinot Noir grapes (62.5%), which come from Ay in the vallée De la Marne, and Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay and Bouzy in the Montage de Reims. The Chardonnay grapes, (37.5%) come from vineyard plots in Avize, Oger, and Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VINTAGE:
1995 began with a mild winter and budburst occurred during the second week of April. After a short cold spell, the flowering was excellent, due to hot, almost summer-like weather. Ripening was very rapid and picking began on September 21st.