I was rather proud of myself. My new dress seemed to echo the theme of the lunch. The dress was a pale but pretty radiant coppery pink. It wasn’t until later that I realised that the top layer of lace was decorated with beads of bubbles in the pattern.
The occasion, was the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Lunch hosted by François Hautekeur, Oenologist, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Monsieur Hautekeur told me he always eats at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, Bondi Beach when he is in Sydney – this is now his fourth visit. Somehow as a Rosé Champagne (and particularly Vintage Champagne) lover, my new dress seemed appropriate.
Veuve Clicquot Vintage Lunch
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar
21st October 2011
‘Kinkawooka’ Baby Pacific Oysters served in the shell, Champagne vinegar granita
Bonito and yellow-fin tuna tartare tartlet, truffled Tuscan dwarf peaches, basil infused olive oil, Greek basil
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label
Wild hand-dived Hervey Bay half shell scallops, tomato, green chilli, garlic, radish salad
Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2004
Organic whole roast suckling pig on fresh bay leaves and served with Panzanella, baby Greek basil, garlic, vinegar salad
Veuve Clicquot Vintage Rosé 2004
8 month aged Pecorino – La Tentazione Del Frate
Hand rolled grissini, Baked sourdough
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1998
It was such a glorious spring day in Sydney. Sunshine beamed down on Bondi Beach. The sand was golden. The water glistened. A perfect day.
Once we had started, the view paled into insignificance as carefully selected quality produce provided the dishes of the day. We were swept up in the crest of the wave, starting slowly and delicately, then surfing our way through to fuller flavours. Each course was utter heaven. Each Champagne lapped at our palates. From the first sweet moist mouthful of ‘Kinkawooka’ Baby Pacific Oysters I forgot about the view.
My match of the day was unexpected. It was my first time savouring crisp and salty crackling with Rosé Champagne. If you haven’t tried this marriage you must.
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar
1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach NSW Australia
+61 2 9365 9000
Veuve Clicquot Tasting Notes
BRUT YELLOW LABEL
First, Yellow Label looks beautiful, golden-yellow, with a foaming necklace of tiny bubbles. Next it is so pleasing to the nose: initially reminiscent of white fruits and raisins, then of vanilla and later of brioche. Note the fine balance between the fruity aromas coming from the grape varieties and the toasty aromas following the ageing in the bottle.
The first sip delivers all the freshness and forcefulness so typical of Yellow Label with a symphony of fruit tastes following on. Here is a true member of the powerful Brut family, well structure, admirably vinous. The lingering aromas echo and re-echo, with each fruit or spice note distinct.
Veuve Clicquote Yellow Label manages to reconcile two opposing factors – forcefulness and finesse – and to hold them in perfect balance. This consistent power to please makes it ideal as an aperitif, and perfect as the Champagne to enjoy with a meal.
The wine has a luminous colour with radiant rose accents. The nose is elegant and generous with initial aromas of fresh red fruit (raspberry, wild strawberry, cherry and blackberry) leading to dried fruits and biscuit notes (almonds, apricots and brioche).
On the palate, the fresh first impression is followed by a fruit harmonious sensation. In line with the style of the Veuve Clicquot House, the wine is perfectly balanced and combines elegance and personality. The wine works its magic – the delectable Champagne is beautifully ample and full of charm.
It is delicious wine in early bloom, a Rosé with character, wonderful as an aperitif to be shared as a twosome or with dear friends.
The wine hs a luminous, brilliant gold colour. The fine bubbles rise delicately, forming a chain of little beads before gently disappearing.
The initial bouquet is elegant, opening to aromas of crunch fresh fruit (bush peach) citrus fruit and a mineral touch that comes from the Veuve Clicquot chalky soils. The notes of voilet and lilac are reminiscent of spring fragrances and later on, notes of a more ‘bready’ style (hazelnut, crystallised quince, fresh butter) gradually take over.
VINTAGE ROSE 2004
The wine has a deep pink colour with coppery, luminous glints. Abundant streams of light, delicate bubble rise to the surface before gently disappearing.
The first nose is dominated by elegant aromas of red berry (redcurrant, blackcurrant) and firm fruits (wild strawberry, red plum, cherry). Fragrant hints of voilet and lilac evoke the scents of springtime and autumnal tones (driedfruit, Spanish membrillo and dried fig) gradually come to the fore, together with a light touch of ground coffee or cocoa.
The attack is clean and dynamic. The wine is full and textured with a long, mellow finish (honey and almond). It combines a distinct structure with strikingly fresh flavours (liquorice, aniseed).
Vintage Rosé 2004 is perfect served during a cocktail buffet, accompanied with seasonal canapés (grilled eggplant and dried tomatoes, scallop mousse, diced caramelised salmon, tapas) or cold or warm starters (seared tuna with goat’s cheese and herbs, roast lobster with liquorice, baked fish with lightly seasoned chorizo). Teatime becomes a delightful indulgence with a glass of Vintage Rosé 2004 and a shorbread biscuit served with red fruit.
LA GRAND DAME 1998
La Grande Dame 1998 has a pale golden colour with jade glints. The wine is crystal clear with unbelievably fine bubbles.
On the first nose, typical Chardonnay characteristics come to the fore, with the arrival of floral and mineral aromas (acacia, ferns, chalk). By agitating the wine, scents of candied fruit (citrus fruits, apricots, quince) and sweet almond emerge, to reappear later in the mouth. After rotating the wine for a few minutes more, rare notes such as peaty malt, tobacco and delicate herbs, are gradually unveiled.
This aromatic, impressively complex bouquet is confirmed in the mouth. On the palate, the wine is clear-cut and pure, perfectly balanced with a delightful silky smoothness.
La Grande dame 1998, with its lace-like construction, has a long lively and structured finish. This wine has unbelievable ageing potential. The 1998 vintage of La Grande Dame, the quintessence of the Veuve Clicquot style, reaches a peak of refinement, without losing its legendary strength produced by a blend including nearly two-thirds of Pinot Noir.