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A rich, round and satisfying vintage Champagne, typical of the Bollinger style, which rests its quality on balance and weight.
Product Code: CH3541
View all products by Bollinger
Bollinger has land-owning roots in the Champagne region dating as far back as the 16th century although the house as we know it today was officially established only in 1829, by Paul Renaudin and Jacques Bollinger. In the late 19th century the prestige image of the brand began to develop and it even became the official supplier to the British court, receiving the Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria. The most significant period of its history was from 1941 to 1977, the tenure of Madame“Lilly” Bollinger, who expanded production significantly and was ahead of her time in travelling the world to promote the brand. Around this time Bollinger also acquired some of its precious pinot noir vineyards, using the grapes in the production of its two rosés. Unusually for a Champagne house, Bollinger have been grape growers as well as producers from the beginning. The house charter states that 70% of grape supply must always come from the firm’s own vineyards, defining the standards of excellence that are synonymous with the Bollinger name. 80% of the harvest is fermented in oak barrels, making the finished wines well-suited to extended ageing and contributing body and depth of flavour. There are only two types of blends produced, both pinot noir-dominated: the non-vintage Special Cuvée is the expression of the Bollinger house style, while the vintage-dated Grande Année, produced only in exceptional years, is designed to express the inherent character of the vintage. R.D (Recently Disgorged) is the same blend as Grande Année, kept on its lees and disgorged much later. The wines of Bollinger are always rich and distinctive in style, fine ambassadors of a house that continues to build its reputation on classic, complex Champagnes with the ability to age gracefully.
Vintage cuvées often represent the very best Champagnes made by a house or grower. In theory, Champagne producers may declare a vintage in any year they please. Occasionally a house or grower will declare a vintage that seems out of step with the majority of producers if they feel that the performance of their particular vineyard(s) warrant it in any year.Generally, however, vintage Champagnes are only made in exceptional vintages.In contrast with the NV (non-vintage) wines, which are blended to maintain a house style, producers want their vintage Champagnes to display the quality and character of that one year's harvest. Vintage Champagnes always benefit from cellaring, and develop beautifully for those with the patience to leave them. They can be drunk upon release, but the vast majority will improve immeasurably with age. Champagne is made from chardonnay, pinot noir or pinot meunier grapes (there are one or two other permitted varieties but these are very rare) grown on chalky hillsides within a strictly demarcated region centred on the twin towns of Reims and Epernay, some 90 miles east of Paris. After hand harvesting, each grape variety is vinified separately, and in the following spring, the wines are blended unless a blancs de blancs is to made in which case any blending will be from parcels of chardonnay that were vinified separately. Yeast and sugar are added, and the wine is bottled for its second fermentation which creates the bubbles, or mousse. The yeast feeds on the sugars, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide, which, with nowhere else to go in the sealed bottle, dissolves into the wine. Vintage Champagne must then mature for at least three years compared with a minimum of 15 months for non-vintage. Gradual turning of the bottles, remuage, brings the yeast sediment to the neck of the bottle, which is then frozen to allow the yeast pellet to be cleanly ejected (dégorgement). In some Champagnes the dégorgement is delayed, sometimes for years, to increase the depth and complexity of the flavours through more time spent on the lees. After topping up (dosage) with a little more wine and sugar (known as liqueur d'expédition), the bottle is sealed. What marks the ‘Champagne’ method from other sparkling wines is the fact that this complex and gradual maturation process, along with the second fermentation, takes place in the same bottle as the wine is sold.
When Jean-Pierre and Marie-Noel Jaeger of Gratien left Epernay to go on holiday at the end of August, the 2007 vintage had already been consigned to the list of other calamities like 1965 or 1977. But then, quite suddenly, everything changed: the skies cleared and the temperatures rose and by the time the Jaegers returned, it was clear that 2007 was going to turn out rather well! Indeed, most houses have declared a vintage, a testament to the unexpectedly high quality in many areas.
"One of the best there is from a top marque. Refined and with a very long lasting mousse. Recommended with cold food such as poached salmon."
I would recommend this wine
JancisRobinson.com 12th Apr 2019
"Mid gold, with a fine
bead. Buttered brioche, mellow lees, with stone fruit and bruised apple. Great
palate finesse with very subtle mousse, nice balance, and old-cream and brioche
complexity. Long, with a vinous finish. Ready now and likely to drink relatively
early. - Tim Jackson"
Financial Times 20th Dec 2017
"2007 was not an easy
vintage for growers, threatened by rot in the vineyards in late August, but
houses as meticulous as Bollinger, which picked much later, seem to have made
very successful 2007 vintage champagnes. This is both honeyed and muscular. Great
stuff. Dosage 7g/l. - Janics Robinson"
Food & Travel 14th Nov 2017
"After tasting the beurre
noisette, coconut-scented 1937 Grande Année in the cool cellars below
sleepy-seeming Aÿ, I chose to reserve a case of the current incarnation, La
Grande Année 2007 for my newly minted daughter to enjoy one day. The bakery and
red-wine-poached pear flavours that developed in the glass of the 1937 (the
year of the late Queen Mother's coronation; the house of Bollinger holds a Royal
Warrant) were just beginning to emerge in the superbly focused 2007. I rate
Bollinger's signature oak-bevelled style, which is bold enough to drink with
strong dishes, including curry. - Doublas Blyde"
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