- Pinot Noir / Chardonnay
- 2015 - 2024
- Case size
- Available Now
Wine Advocate, Oct 2015,
The 2004 La Grande Année Rosé is based on 68% Pinot Noir and 32% Chardonnay, 89% from Grand Cru villages and 11% from Premier Crus. Disgorged in July 2013, this salmon colored rosé champagne displays fine red berry and floral flavors on the nose, whereas the palate is vibrant, taut and linear; it is full of tension, power and minerality, and extremely refreshing but not as elegant and refined as the white twin. The finish is a little bit stringent. 91/100. Drink: 2014-2029
Champagne Bollinger was founded in 1829 by Jacques Joseph Bollinger and his colleague at the time Paul Ranaudin. Together they formed Renaudin Bollinger and it was over 100 years or so later that the house dropped the Renaudin name. The most famous Bollinger was Lily Bollinger who ran the house from 1941 until 1977. She succesfully expanded the vineyard area as well as being the origin of one of the most famous Champagne quotes of all time: "I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone.When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty." Bollinger is still 100% family owned today. 70% of its grape supply comes from its own vineyards and on average 80% of the grapes come from Premiers and Grands Crus in Champagne. To ensure the consistency and continuity of the style, Bollinger adds to the blend a maximum of 10% of Reserve wines to ensure that their commitment to excellence is maintained. The blend consists on average of 60% pinot noir, 25% chardonnay and 15% pinot meunier, harvested from 30 different villages in Champagne. 80% of the harvest is barrel-fermented with the wines being kept on their yeast lees for an extended period of time.
Champagne, the world's greatest sparkling wine, needs little introduction - with imitations produced in virtually every country capable of growing grapes, including such unlikely candidates as India and China. The Champagne region, to the north of Paris, has the most northerly vineyards in France, with vines grown on slopes with a southerly exposure to maximise sunlight. The soil is chalky, providing an excellent balance of drainage and water retention. The key to the wine is in the cellar - the bubbles result from a second fermentation in the bottle and the rich toasty flavours in great Champagne come from extended bottle ageing on the yeasty lees. Until the eighteenth century, the wines produced in the Champagne area were light acidic white wines, with no hint of sparkle. However glass and closure technology developed at that time and it was not long before Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Hautvilliers, started experimenting with blends and produced the first recognisable champagne. In a world accustomed to still wines, the advent of champagne was almost a flop. It was saved when it became fashionable at the French court as a result of Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompadour commenting "Champagne isthe only wine that lets a woman remain beautiful after she has drunk it." And the rest is history, with famous (or infamous) champagne lovers including Casanova, Dumas, Wagner, Winston Churchill, James Bond and Coco Chanel.