Wine Of the Week: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2015

Veuve Clicquot’s latest Champagne boasts a limited-edition bottle collaboration with a famed Italian sculptor.

(Veuve Clicquot)

Every year, famed Champagne house Veuve Clicquot releases the new vintage of La Grande Dame: a prestigious cuvee that tips its hat to Madame Clicquot and her infatuation with Pinot Noir-based bubbly.

Pinot Noir has earned the name “heartbreak grape” for a reason. It’s picky and persnickety to work with; highly moody to temperature changes, strong winds, and other environmental elements. But for this special release, La Grande Dame puts the grape on a pedestal, using about 90% Pinot Noir sourced from historical Grand Crus around the Champagne region.

On the palate, it’s soft and radiant, rich and structured, with lovely notes of brioche and an underlying depth that blooms from the Pinot Noir grape. The bubbles are tight and persistent and dance on the palate as the wine brings through notes of hazelnut, ginger, and blood orange.

To celebrate the release, Veuve Clicquot partnered with Italian ceramicist Paola Paronetto to give the release an even more exclusive edge. Paronetto translated her signature paper clay techniques into a box with a range of colors: aquamarine, lilac, teal, robin’s egg, and a deep ocean blue. $229.

Kate Dingwall is a WSET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.