- Pinot Noir / Chardonnay
- 2020 - 2030
- Case size
- Available Now
Richard Juhlin, Champagne Club, February 2020,
“I love the magical moment when I get the chance, as the first journalist, to lighten the cork of the latest vintage of Bollinger La Grande Année…….The wine is made from 21 villages with Aÿ and Verzenay in the driver's seat backed by elegance from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry. The wine is characterized by vitality and energy more than depth at present. The color has a brilliant golden glow and the mousse is almost panting in its resilient youthfulness. The scent is beautifully house typical, dominated by apricot, almond, hazelnut and a smoky sophisticated intensity as from a newly lit outdoor fire. The attack is stunningly intense and the weight in the oral cavity leaves nothing left to wish for. Resilient energy and fullness are combined with greatness. Anyone who has patience will be rewarded with truffled flavor layers, chocolate saturated complexity and added exoticism of honeysuckle in the wine's bouquet.”
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.