- Pinot Noir / Chardonnay
- 2022 - 2040
- Case size
Wine Advocate, March 2021,
Disgorged on July 10, 2020, with three grams per liter dosage, Bollinger's eagerly awaited 2007 Extra-Brut R. D. is beautiful, unwinding in the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, citrus pith and white flowers mingled with hints of honey, orange oil, buttery pastry, English walnuts and delicately spicy bass notes. Full-bodied, vibrant and incisive, it's unusually elegant and structurally fine-boned for what is routinely one of Champagne's more muscular tête de cuvées, with a bright spine of acidity that's cloaked in vibrant, concentrated fruit, complemented by a pearly pinpoint mousse and concluding with an intensely sapid finish. Long and penetrating, this is a tightly coiled R. D. that will reward bottle age. The fruit of an early harvest, beginning on September 1st, Bollinger's superb 2007 R. D. is an unusually delicate, fine-boned rendition of this habitually muscular cuvée. An additional seven years on the lees has brought additional textural and amplitude to the acid spine that was already evident in the 2007 Grande Année, and the slight loss of pressure during aging on cork makes for a more refined, pearly mousse that complements the wine's enhanced texture and amplified sapid nuance. Fermented in used oak cooperage, with tirage under natural cork and disgorgement without added sulfur dioxide (but now with jetting to ensure consistency), it's one of the few tête de cuvée bottlings still made very much as it was 40 years ago. While I don't tend to comment on packaging, Bollinger's decision to revive the tasteful aluminum label that graced this cuvée's debut 1952 rendition, when the redoubtable Madame Lilly Bollinger still presided over this house, does underscore what is a real and not merely superficial commitment to artisanal traditions. dRINK 2021-2037.
Vinous, March 2021,
Bollinger’s 2007 R.D. is superb, but it is also a wine that reflects the nature of a unique and challenging growing season. In most vintages the R.D. is marked by the distinct creaminess and breadth of Aÿ Pinot Noir. Two thousand seven, though, was a difficult year marked by very dry weather, rain at the end of the growing season and an early harvest in August, something that was not as common as it has become. Selection was essential. For the 2007, the blend is composed of just 14 villages compared to the more typical 18-25. Verzenay is the main Pinot component while Cramant plays the leading role in the Chardonnays. For these reasons, the 2007 is an R.D. driven by more focus, energy and tension than readers are used to seeing. Lemon confit, dried flowers, sage, mint, crushed rocks, almond and ginger are some of the aromas and flavors that give the 2007 its complex, multi-faceted personality. The 2007 can be enjoyed now, but I would prefer to cellar it for a few years. It will age effortlessly for decades as it moves through the various phases of its life. I was reminded of the way Champagne can magically traverse time by magical bottles of the 1976 R.D. and 1996 Vieilles Vignes Françaises I tasted recently. The blend is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, 91% Grand Cru fruit and the rest Premier Cru. Bollinger fans will notice the return of the original label, with the disgorgement date clearly visible, a tribute to Madame Bollinger, who was a pioneer in so many ways. Disgorged: July 10, 2020. Dosage is 3 grams per liter. Drink 2022-2047.
Matthew Jukes, March 2021,
The latest release of R.D. – Bollinger’s iconic ‘Recently Disgorged or Récemment Dégorgé’ wine is something completely out of the ordinary. My one-word description for this sensational wine is ‘controlled’. I say this because what I adore about every single vintage of R.D. which I have tasted (and there have been many – see below) is the seeming lack of control in every sip. R.D. should be and usually is an absurdly decadent and unpredictable wine, firing off ostentatious flavour and extraordinary detail in every direction. This is why I love it so much and also why I only open it on very special occasions! What is remarkable about this particular vintage is its restraint and levity coupled with the extraordinary length of finish. After 14 years on lees, this wine is as power-packed and energised as it could possibly be and with the extra edge and vivacity coming from a fulsome percentage of Verzenay Pinot fruit (29%) added to the usual heartbeat coming from the Aÿ Pinot core (26%) this is a dynamic red fruit-dominant cocktail. The overall blend is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay coming from 14 Crus with 91% Grands Crus in this vintage. The dosage is a keen 3 grams per litre and all disgorgement is done by hand, as usual. But in 2007 the result is atypical, enchanting, surprisingly refreshing and amazingly delicious. I opened this bottle at 11.00 am and did not stopper it for a full 12 hours. I even sneaked half a glass with a chicken curry at supper time and it worked like a dream. This is not a massive firework of a wine that explodes gloriously and then is gone. Instead, it is a blazing torch of flavour with phenomenal persistence and balance and this makes it unmissable in every serious Champagne lover’s cellar. Drink now – 2045. ps – The label change is as exciting as the flavour of this stunning wine because in 2007 Bollinger has reverted to Lily Bollinger’s original 1952 label design with the disgorgement date engraved on the front as opposed to the back of the bottle. This makes R.D., once again, one of the most beautiful pieces of wine label art in the world!
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.