I was invited by the Swedish importer to taste the anniversary vintage of Bollinger R.D. @ F12studio. The tasting was held by Assistant Chef des Caves Denis Bunner & Export Manager Karl-Frédéric Reuter.
RJ ON R.D. (Recently Disgorged) is the same as the vintage wine, but stored a few more years in contact with the yeast. The 1975 was for several years the best Champagne I’d drunk. The critics are unanimous—this is a great vintage for Bollinger. Some bottles with the Année Rare label have been too young and closed. The wine is best appreciated two or three years after being disgorged, when its classic hazelnut tones and rich flavor of truffles, cheese, and chocolate appear more clearly in the relatively hard and acidic wine. The aftertaste is majestic, with layers of nut and leather aromas.
2002 BOLLINGER R.D | Aÿ | Champagne | France | Bollinger | 60PN 40CH | BJpoints 94(96) | TASTING NOTE Disgorged 19th of Sep’13, 11 years sûr-lie. 23 crus, 71% grand cru & 29% 1er cru. Dosage 3 grams per litre.
Since the year 1990 made vintage wines from Bollinger in a little fruitier more peach-scented style with slightly less pronounced smokiness and nuttiness. I was always more impressed initially by the previous style, but it feels like the differences even out over time. 2002 shows lovely shy notes of peaches and honey. It hasn’t developed it’s typical masses of RD-character yet. In the mouth this R.D. is typically oily and rich with notes of Champignon de Paris (!), Verzenay-dominated, stringent aroma of red apple peel. The taste is beautifully balance and harmonius. I love to drink R.D.s between 18 and 24 months after release. This is a Champagne that really benefits from being served in a Burgundy glass(!) As always tis is a Champagne for true gastronomy. Like the tartar of deer and oyster mayonnaise and lemon zest that we we’re served at the premiere-lunch in Sthlm. This is a grand R.D. in the making!
time – rarity – boldness
RJ ON BOLLINGER Joseph Bollinger was the German from Würtemberg who founded this ancient house in 1829. The French called him simply “Jacques.” The firm’s large estates in the best Pinot villages were bought by his sons Georges and Joseph, and in 1918 it was time for the next Jacques to take over the property. He became the mayor of Aÿ, but died during the German occupation at the age of forty-seven. The most colorful person in the history of the house is his widow, Lily Bollinger, who kept a watchful eye on every bunch of grapes by cycling through the vineyards regularly. Her rigorous demands for quality still run through the house to this day. Now Bollinger is run by Jérôme Philipon, who control over 144 hectares, providing 70 percent of the grape supply. The winemaker today is Gilles Descôtes. Besides the house’s exceptional vineyards, they also use very expensive vinification methods. All the vintage wines are fermented in small, aged oak barrels and are never filtered. Malolactic fermentation—which would probably take place very late in the process—is not encouraged either. The reserve wines are stored at low pressure in magnums. Bollinger make the heaviest and most full-bodied champagnes of any house, and their wines always have a smoky and hazelnut-y complexity that is very hard to beat. The vintage wines are among the very best, but the question is whether the rare and fantastic Vieilles Vignes Françaises, made with grapes from non-grafted Pinot vines, can reach even greater heights. All wines highly recomended.