The Veuve Cliquot x Yayoi Kusama La Grande Dame 2012 is a bubbly hat-tip to two of the most iconic women the world has seen.
The worlds of art and wine often collide, but not always do the collaborations make quite so much sense as the one we recently saw when innovative Champagne producer Veuve Clicquot hit up Yayoi Kusama recently to emblazon the livery for its La Grande Dame 2012 vintage. The special tie-up sees the legendary Japanese contemporary artist take to the Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame 2012 with her flamboyant flourish, showering its case and bottle with her iconic symbols of flowers and polka dots (and in Veuve Clicqout’s signature golden yellow too, no less).
The result is spectacular to behold. But more importantly than the visual elements, this partnership harbours a deeper, underlying significance.
Veuve Clicquot (which means the “widow” Clicquot) is named after Barbe-Niccole Ponsardin, who took over her husband’s business – which included, among other things, champagne production – after he unfortunately passed on early in their marriage. Under her reins the champagne business thrived. Over the years Ponsardin would introduce many innovations to the making of champagne, including creating the first vintage champagne back in 1810 and then the first known blended rosé in 1818. She is also credited with inventing the process of riddling. These are all techniques that today are commonplace in champagne production. But back then, they were revolutionary. The Veuve Clicquot’s La Grande Dame expression itself is dedicated to Barbe-Niccole Ponsardin.
And like the Widow Clicquot, Yayoi Kusama had faced her fair share of trials to get to her iconic status today. Kusama survived the detritus of World War Two to study painting in Kyoto, but was so taken by American abstract impressionism that she moved to New York City in 1958. She would become a key influencer in the New York pop art movement, which propelled her to her iconic status today.
Two grande dames, both of whom have left their mark on history – one in wine, the other in art. The Veuve Cliquot x Yayoi Kusama La Grande Dame 2012 pays tribute to both these women.
This prestige cuvée is made from mostly Pinot Noir, with just 10% Chardonnay added for extra freshness. The Pinot Noir hails from some of the most prestigious plots in Champagne too, including Aÿ in the Grande Vallée de la Marne, as well as Verzenay, Verzy, Ambonnay and Bouzy in the Montagne de Reims.
But what makes the newly-released La Grande Dame even more special? The 2012 harvest in Champagne was critically-acclaimed as one of the best vintages in the past couple of decades. On the nose you can expect an explosion of ripe white orchard fruit – pear, quince, and plum – overlaid with the scent of fresh white flowers, while on the palate is incredible citrus and stone fruit freshness, held together with a subtle mineral backbone. And the finish? Well, we wish it never ends.
The Veuve Cliquot x Yayoi Kusama La Grande Dame 2012 retails for a recommended retail price of S$278, and is currently available from Le Rouge. Collectors may like to know that La Grande Dame 2012 comes exclusively in Yayoi Kusama livery; there’s no standard release for this vintage.
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