Bollinger is one of the most famous and historic Maison of Champagne, founded in 1829 and, since 1884, awarded the prestigious Royal Warrant, the certification of the status of British Court official supplier (whose golden-transparent adhesive stands just above the label of its wines). The winery is still owned by the homonymous family that over time has come to own 178 hectares of vineyards, mainly Premier Cru and Grand Cru in the sub-area of Aÿ.
The characteristic of the wines produced is that they are composed for the most part of Pinot Noir, the winery signature, preserved in over 700,000 magnums that constitute one of the largest assets of vins de réserve of the entire Champagne region. Moreover, the winery is also famous for the choice of producing wines aged on average twice the time required by the production disciplinary, and for the presence of a craftsman who takes care, in a permanent and exclusive way, of the maintenance of the 3500 barrels (some centenaries) of the so-called ‘Bollinger Park’.
In the vineyard, the Maison uses a sustainable approach, with a strong reduction in the use of synthetic chemicals, the grassing of vineyards, the reuse of wood pruning and the planting of bushes and fruit trees between the rows to preserve biodiversity.
Among the most emblematic wines produced by the Maison is undoubtedly La Grande Année Rosé, a wine composed, in the 2002 vintage, of 62% Pinot Noir (mainly Cru Aÿ and Verzenay) and 38% Chardonnay (mainly Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry cru). One of the aspects that makes this champagne so interesting is given by the fact that a part of Pinot Noir (8% of the total), obtained from the Cru Monopole Côte aux Enfants (in Aÿ), is harvested only when fully ripe and vinified in red, giving the champagne its classic pale pink color once added to the masses. Once all the grapes are harvested, only in the most favorable years, these ferment and, subsequently, mature for a long time on the lees, in small wooden barrels. Once bottled, the wine ages for a long time on the lees, before being manually degorged and then filled with the final cork.
The abovementioned 2002 vintage shows a salmon pink color with some shy rusty streaks, and with a perlage still thick and elegant that, 11 years after disgorgement, does not show any sign of sagging. The nose opens on notes of red currant, dried apricot, peach in syrup and croissant, followed by yellow melon, sultanas, orange peel and honey, with final vinous echoes of Sherry Fino (just a hint that testifies to a tasty tertiarization). The palate develops by alternating the creaminess of the perlage, the vinosity given by the red wine and the freshness brought by that hint of oxidation already perceived to the nose; all enriched by the return of red currant, yellow fruit and sherry that accompany the sip until a long and tasty closure.
Want to find out what I can do for you? Click here!