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La Grande Dame, Comtes de Champagne, and Cristal are all examples of:

A. Prestige Cuvées

B. Grand Marques

C. Blanc de Blancs

D. Premier Grand Crus

A.

The most expensive, longest-aged, and often highest-quality Champagnes are known as prestige cuvées, and virtually every producer makes one. The first prestige cuvée was made in 1876 by the House of Roederer for Czar Alexander II of Russia, who wanted an exclusive Champagne not available to (God forbid) the lower aristocracy. The czar further dictated that it be shipped in leaded crystal bottles. Roederer’s prestige cuvée was hence named “Cristal.” Veuve Clicquot named their top bottling, “La Grande Dame,” after Madame Clicquot, the house’s esteemed matriarch. Taittinger created the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, its most exclusive and premium wine, in honor of the Comtes de Champagne (Counts of Champagne), particularly Thibaud IV, whose seal adorns every bottle of Taittinger.

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