About Veuve Clicquot x Yayoi Kusama La Grande Dame 2012 Champagne
Born in Reims in 1777, Madame Clicquot was the daughter of a baron, meaning that she was excellently educated. In 1798, she married François Clicquot, the son of Philippe Clicquot, the founder of Maison Clicquot. By that time, the business had been in operation since 1772, built on a foundation of family vineyards. In 1805, François passed away. Soon after, his widow decided to take over the business, becoming one of the first businesswomen of modern times.
5 years later, she released the first vintage Champagne in the region, a sign of her prowess and things to come. Under her leadership, the house thrived, perfecting new and innovative techniques, such as the usage of a riddling table for clarifying Champagne. The very first rosé d’assemblage Champagne was created by blending Bouzy red wines with the Champagne. Even at the time, her contributions were recognized and she became known as the Grande Dame of Champagne. Through the years, the house built on her principles, implementing new techniques and improving the production process and the wines. In 1986, the company was acquired by Louis Vuitton.
For the 2012 vintage of the Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, the house partnered with iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who contributed her artwork to both the case and bottle. The flower symbolizes “vital energy, love and celebration of life,” while Kusama’s signature polka dot patterns embody the Champagne’s bubbles. The blend was crafted mostly with grapes from historical grands crus with Pinot Noir accounting for 90% of the blend, the remaining 10% being Chardonnay. The first comes from Aÿ, Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay, and Bouzy, while the latter comes from Avize and Mesnil-sur-Oger.
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Champagne has been associated with royalties since the 17th century, still maintaining its glorious reputation.
The French take Champagne seriously, so coming from the Champagne region of France isn’t the only requirement that keeps this drink from being “just sparkling wine.” The rules of the appellation require specific vineyard practices, particular types of grapes, specific pressing methods, and secondary fermentation of wine.