Champagne Bollinger - Press Comments

Äy, Champagne, France

Champagne Bollinger

Special Cuvée

“60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier sourced from more than 300 crus, including 85% grands and permiers crus; 15% fermented in old oak barrels. The complexity and richness of Special Cuvée is unparalleled among the entry non-vintage blends of ever Champagne house, short of ascending to the mesosphere of Krug. Its grand recipe explains why, built on incredible depth of 50%-60% reserves. Triumphant complexity is a given at Bollinger, but it’s the dynamic freshness and vitality that really set it apart as one of the most affordable Champagne benchmarks.” 96 points

Tyson Stelzer, Decanter
1st July 2020

“Fine bubbles combine nicely with the cooked apples, pie crust and lemon rind. Some biscuit, too. Full body. Layered and creamy with a crisp finish. Always delicious.” 92 points

James Suckling, jamesuckling.com
2nd September 2019

 

Rosé

“A fruity and fresh, tangy rosé with peach and apple aromas and flavors and hints of cream and lemon rind. Subtle and satisfying.” 93 points

James Suckling, jamesuckling.com
2nd September 2019

“A wonderful rose that is generous, rich, filled with red berry flavors while still having the core backbone of minerality and tension. A beautiful rose with a lingering finish.” 94 points

Jeannie Cho Lee MW
November 2016

 

PN VZ15

“Very Bollinger (even more than Pinot Noir) on the nose, but livelier than the regular NV. Very fine texture and bead indeed on the palate. A little (not excessive) oaky note on the end. A very fine, elegant, well-integrated interpretation of Pinot Noir. Long peacock’s-tail finish. Very accomplished. Though it’s arguably too complex to be a suitable aperitif. A champagne for geeks?” 17.5/20

Jancis Robinsson
13th July 2020

“A bright new star has arisen from deep within the pinot noir firmament. The first new permanent addition to the hallowed portfolio of Bollinger in 12 years is a monumental blanc de noirs that encapsulates the generosity of the house within its ever more detailed regime. Departing its home on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims, it has tactically jumped over the hill to the cooler northern aspect of the fabled grand cru of Verzenay in the warm 2015 vintage, yet very much retaining the beloved DNA of the house. The result is a deeply spicy and exuberant expression of this elegant terroir, abounding in mixed spice, anise and cardamom and deep, luscious strokes of blackberries and bright red cherries. There are subtle flitters of fruit mince spice and orange rind along for this dynamic ride. Bollinger’s characteristic old barrel fermentation builds depth of creamy texture and signature layers of complexity. The brightness of the great slopes of Verzenay shines through, even in the warm 2015 season, charged with wonderfully ripe yet vibrant acidity and omnipresent chalk minerality of glittering, crystalline energy. The phenolic structure inherent to this season is neatly and masterfully woven into its folds. It’s emphatically Bollinger, definitively Verzenay, exactingly pinot noir and characteristically 2015 – a wonderful yet difficult balance to achieve. A triumph for the season, and downright delicious.” 97 points

Tyson Steltzer
8th July 2020

“Marvelously powerful aromatics with delectable scents of toast, smoked hazelnuts and pastry, as well as top notes of mint. From the start, the palate is impressively vinous and concentrated but tightens in a way that tapers to a long, fine chalky finish. The hazelnut reappears along with white fruit and a touch of white flowers. This is an irresistible Champagne that expresses a combination of serious structure and real fruited charm. This is a welcome and successful new entry to Bollinger’s prestigious line-up, one that should perfectly suit a dish of quail, for example.” 94 points

Yohan Castaing, Decanter
7th July 2020

 

La Grande Année 2008

“Bollinger’s 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger’s oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger’s new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine.” 97+ points

William Kelley, Wine advocate
29th March 2019

“In 2008, the remarkable maturity of the grapes combined with an amazing acidity has produced a vintage of great balance, concentration and depth. The wine was aged for nine years on its lees, then for another year following disgorgement. Bright straw in colour with pinprick bubbles, it blooms on the nose with a fresh lemon leaf aroma, a sniff of strawberry and white chocolate and a candied peanut toastiness in depth. On the palate it’s silky, broad and lingering, showing a kind of bittersweet fruit profile with grapefruit and peach kernel notes, and an amazing chalky, mineral finish. It will keep well. Wait to drink it if in magnum or bigger.” 97 points

Aldo Fiordelli, Decanter
26th March 2019

 

La Grande Année 2007

“This has a very attractive, grapefruit and lemon edge to the nose with toasty and ripe, expressive, fruit notes that follow through to the smooth palate with an attractive, toasty build at the finish. Disgorged in November 2017.” 93 points

James Suckling, jamesuckling.com
5th September 2018

“A bright, lacy Champagne, offering a tapestry of finely woven flavors; graphite and ground spice, crushed blackberry and dried apricot, toast and honeycomb. Firm and focused, with a lasting, chalky finish.” 94 points

Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator

“A fresh hue, with gold highlights signalling lovely ripeness. Almond scents with peach and mango. On the palate, honey notes and crisp acidity are in fine balance. Classy. Ready but will keep well.” 93 points

Michael Edwards
21st May 2017

 

La Grande Année 2005

“A blend of pinot noir and Chardonnay from Grand and Premier Crus, this famous Champagne offers broad, complex flavours of toast, nuts, citrus fruits and pear, together with hints of cherries and herbs. It’s a really complex, refined wine.”

Jamie Goode, Sunday Express S Mag
18th December 2016

“A powerful, structured and graceful 2005, showing deft integration of the rich, chalky underpinning, firm acidity and expansive flavors of crushed black currant, spring blossom, toasted almond, crystallized honey and preserved lemon. Offers a fine, raw silk-like mousse and a long, spiced finish. Disgorged February 2015.” 94 points

Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
15th November 2015

 

La Grande Année Rosé 2007

“Medium onion-skin. Coffee lees expression over dark cherry, some flint and dried-herb savouriness. Some old-cream complexity that needs coaxing from the glass. Firm, chalky texture with red and black cherry, some orange-citrus and plenty of nutty lees. Fine, brooding and dense. Needs time to open. Very fine rosé.” 18/20

Jancis Robinsson
12th April 2019

“An enticingly rewarding nose of apricot, flint and toast leads to a palate that’s just as good and even more developed, with honey, brioche marzipan and bruised apple notes. It has super tension and drive. Compelling, delicious and distinctive.” 97 points

John Stimpfig, Decanter
2nd November 2018

“Honey and roses with fresh almonds and an array of dried berries, amid deep, rich, toasted-nut, autolysis character. The palate has a bold array of rich, concentrated berry flavors in a fresh core, surrounded by a warming wrap of grilled hazelnuts. Roasted coffee to close. Terrific complexity.” 95 points

James Suckling, jamesuckling.com
5th September 2018

“Given the house’s connection to Bond, 007 sounds like a brilliant Bollinger vintage. Normally, I’m not so fond of the vintage’s correct, but somewhat neutral character. I remember that major investments were made by the house at this time and the results are excellent. In my world, this is one of the most surprising vintages from the small boutique house in Aÿ. From the start, this rosé reminds us of the great vintages in the 80’s, when the house style was more nutty and smoky than later years, somewhat easier and peachy creations. Tasted next to a Vieilles Vignes Francaises of extraterrestrial eminence from the same year, the wine stood well with a huge poise and power in a rich burgundy style. The aromas are dominated by dried roses, blood orange, forest mushroom, leather and hazelnut cream.” 95 points

Richard Juhlin
January 2018

 

La Grande Année Rosé 2005

“Radiant, star-bright ruby with vermilion highlights. Burgundian scents of the forest, with fraises des bois, undergrowth and even redcurrant. A silky, captivating mouthfeel, the palate cloaking without being heavy. The expression of a warm, later harvest, and the rosé is more distinguished and elegant than the blanc in 2005.” 95 points

Michael Edwards
21st May 2017

“Despite the pale salmon-pink color, this rose has an intensity that is impressive. The palate is powerful and focused with layers of cherry and spicy notes but it is the generosity and depth that makes this rose Champagne memorable.” 95 points

Jeannie Cho Lee MW
November 2016

“Wonderfully aromatic and finely detailed, with a layered profile of dried apricot, raw almond, honey, ground coffee, nutmeg and orange bergamot. Shows power and focus, yet this is set in a sleek, finely knit frame. The chalky minerality firms the long, smoky finish.” 94 points

Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
October 2016

 

Bollinger R.D. 2004

“A superb moment for this late-disgorged vintage Champagne. All the complexity and fruit are here, in the right proportions, on the nose and palate. Grilled peaches, grapefruit, lemons, hazelnuts, espresso and more. Super long, majestic and so rewardingly complex.” 97 points

James Suckling, jamesuckling.com
5th September 2018

“Not surprisingly, everything about this wine is accentuated and demonstrative, visually, aromatically and also, crucially, in sheer flavour complexity terms on the stunning palate. With 3gm/L dosage, this is a thrillingly fresh wine. We tasted three different examples of dosage (0, 3 and 8 grams per litre of sugar) and it was clear that 3 was the most appropriate for this wine. The blend is 66% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay. The colour is very pale gold for an R.D. and given its age, this is a very important sign for the future. Harmonious on the nose and very refreshing and bright on the palate, this is a wine that will appeal to fans of R.D. and also those who might have previously have thought this wine style too imposing and powerful. It is the completeness of this wine which impresses me most. Bollinger is refining all of its wines, from days gone by where the wines could have been marked down for being too muscular and woody. ‘Bollinger-style’ has both very positive and some mildly negative connotations. Today, with the recent vintage releases the wines show true Bollinger style, but with augmented finesse and refinement.” 19+/20

Matthew Jukes, matthewjukes.com
22nd March 2018

“Very classical forward, intense, tertiary RD (recently disgorged) nose with brioche, spice box and candied fruit. Fine, piercing acidity is ably supplemented by a bone dry, richly textured, vinous mouthfeel that glides across the palate. Great generosity, complexity and youthful harmony with orange peel, tart-tatin, bread, roasted cashew, minerals and nougat flavours. Elegantly well-structured with a fine persistent mousse and a long saline finish. This is absolutely ready now, particularly if you prefer your RD with a deliberately fresh and vibrant aromatic profile. According to cellar master Gilles Descotes, this is really the point of RD in certain vintages like 2004. ‘So I would recommend that you open it within the next twelve months in order to capture and enjoy this very particular aromatic expression.’ Alternatively, if you prefer a touch more honey and praline notes, keep it in bottle for another five years – or more!” 96 points

John Stimpfig , Decanter
22nd March 2018

“Mid gold colour. Smoky hints on the nose. Creamy texture, salty. Ripe, slightly honeyed aromas. Brioche and baked apple. Moderate intensity on the palate, but there is good persistence and a touch of savoury salinity on the finish. Lovely honeysuckle and cream on the length. Still a long way to go, but superbly open already. Seems softer in acidity than the 2002.” 18+/20

Richard Hemming MW , jancisrobinson.com
22nd March 2018

 

Bollinger R.D. 2004 en Magnum

“Quite different to the regular bottle, with much more autolytic character and riper fruit too with a sort of orange peel fruit. Has the same slight honeyed note and generous flinty note. Not the biggest in terms of sheer weight, but certainly packed full of flavour.” 18.5/20

Richard Hemming MW , jancisrobinson.com
22nd March 2018

 

Bollinger R.D. 2002

“60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay – highest Chardonnay vintage, looks magnificent with exquisite length and incredible precision. Still extraordinarily tense and fine with an epic length and control.” 19.5+/20

Matthew Jukes, matthewjukes.com
22nd March 2018

“The most remarkable thing about the 2002 Extra Brut R.D. is how tense and structured it is. Despite having been disgorged over two years ago, the 2002 is very much tightly wound. After several hours, the power and resonance of the vintage start to come through, along with the natural richness of Pinot from Aÿ. Whereas most 2002 Champagnes are quite ripe in profile, the 2002 R.D. has plenty of depth, but it is depth through concentration as opposed to elevated ripeness. The low dosage style further adds to that sensation. Hints of chamomile, sage, dried flower and red fruits emerge over time, but only with reluctance. I would prefer to cellar the 2002 for at least a few years. If that is not possible, readers should open the wine at least a few hours in advance. Even so, the 2002’s best drinking lies somewhere in the future. My sense is that the 2002 will be at its best between the ages of 20 and 30. Disgorged: September 11, 2015” 95 points

Antonio Galloni, Vinous
December 2017

“Tasted blind. Dark gold. Mushrooms (a mature Bollinger trademark), savoury and density with a dry finish. Definitely Bollinger R.D. Some refinement too. Reminds me a little of fine saki – umami?” 19/20

Jancis Robinson
December 2016

“This gorgeous, complex Champagne just kept improving in the glass as it opened up. Like a great white wine, the wine expanded, adding depth and length with aeration. Flavors range from toast, citrus to spices and orange peel – still primary flavors suggesting the wine has a long way to go. Impressive wine.” 97 points

Jeannie Cho Lee MW
November 2016

“The R.D. is revolutionary, and this wine is back on form, from a great vintage that is showing really well. Disgorged in 2015, it shows lovely development; rich but not heavy, with very elegant, complex herbal tea and truffle notes.”

Gerard Basset MW, Decanter
November 2016

 

Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2007

“The world has about 3000 bottles to fight off of this extraterrestrial nectar. I am delighted that they have dared to have 8 grams of sugar in its dosage this seductive vintage. From the beginning, my senses are bombarded by colossal impressive, magnificent and colorful impressions. The essence of inflated fruit is similar to a Beerenauslese from Rheingau as well as white and red Burgundy of the finest brand. Extremely drinkable from start in a similar style as  the 1990 and 1989 back in the days. Personally, I am convinced that VVF has become even more concentrated and high-graded when the vineyard in Bouzy disappeared and we are dealing with 100% Aÿ. 2008 has all the conditions to become one of history’s greatest. Until then, I’m delighted to enjoy this deliciously sensuous dainty bit which on the highest volume conveys notes of orange marmalade, honey, roses, honeysuckle, olive oil, tar, black truffle and cep mushroom in a unisoned golden symphony.” 98 points

Richard Juhlin
January 2018