Wine Review: Veuve Cliquot Grand Dame 1989

“In a perfect world, everyone would have a glass of Champagne every evening.” Willie Gluckstern

I agree.

If such a thing as a perfect world existed, I would happily throw back bottle after bottle of this 1989 Grand Dame from Veuve Cliquot. We don’t live in a perfect world, but this one evening is up there as a pretty good one. We are less than 2 weeks away from our wedding, and Scot got me this as a 30th birthday present (i’m still wincing at that number).

We have stored this wine away for the last 2 years in our little wine fridge at 12 degrees where it has been waiting patiently for me to reach the big 3-0. Well, I am actually not 30 today, but less than 1 week away. We are conveniently away for my birthday, getting married and I managed to convince Scot we should drink this now.

I. Literally. Have. No. Words.

It poured out the bottle like liquid gold. It looks like a vintage, it talks like a vintage and it pours like a vintage. It is lively, and packs a butt load of fizz for an (old) champagne. Heady aromas of fresh yeast, mead, and that smell you get when you go back to a jar of honey after probaly years of keeping it in your cupboad. Its gone a bit hard, but has a fanststic ripe, mature sweet smell to it.

We are now ordering Sushi. This evening keeps getting better.

After we have wafted ourselves silly with these smells, we decide we better drink up. This wine is crying out for it. I can tell you now, we are not disappointed. This champagne has a sweetness to it that can only be achieved with ageing. There is punchy acidity at the beginning but mellowing out immediatly to sweet honey, mead, stewed apricots, dates and a touch of coffee and sweet woody licquorice.

I hate velvet. It brings back horrible memories of (for some reason yet unknown to me) of chewing on velvet curtains and that horrible texture on my teeth. This wine is velvety in texture, but not like those curtains. It fills your mouth with an incredible richness and smoothness balanced by a healthy acidity.

1989 in Champagne was a great year, excellent sunshine at all the right times, meaning plump and sweet grapes were sacrificed in this bottle. It was also the year I was born, so a good year all round!

I also learned a new fact today which I will share with you before I go eat my sushi. Veuve in french means Widow. Madame Cliquot was widowed when she took over the winery, and Veuve Cliquot was born.