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2008 Bollinger R.D.

2008 Bollinger R.D.

99 JS

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Critic Reviews

Amazing aromas of sweet uncooked pie crust with almonds. Then you smell dried apples, apricots and pineapple. Grilled fruits, too. Full-bodied. So tangy and energetic with sizzling acidity and creamy tannins. Flavorful and lightly oxidized at the finish. Smacking my lips. Agile. Ginger and spices. A touch of bitter complexity with some salinity. Extreme character that grabs your attention. 13 years and six months aging on the lees with cork. 3 grams dosage. 71% pinot noir and 29% chardonnay. Don’t serve too cold. Drink or hold.

JS | 99 JS
When I was tasting Bollinger’s brilliant Grande Année in this vintage, I was trying to imagine how good the 2008 Extra-Brut R. D. would be, as the style of the vintage seems almost perfectly adapted to this cuvée. Four years later, we have the answer, and the wine is brilliant. Disgorged in 2022, it’s more reserved out of the gates than the dramatic Grande Année was on release, unwinding in the glass with notes of crisp orchard fruit, orange peel, freshly baked bread, subtle hints of fino sherry, wet stones and macadamia nut. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with a deep core of fruit that’s animated by racy acids and a refined pinpoint mousse, concluding with a bone-dry finish. Extremely harmonious and full of youthful energy, it’s the finest R. D. of the decade and one that will richly reward a bit of additional age on cork. In style, the most obvious comparison is with the 1996, but the 2008 is more integrated and harmonious on release. These bottles were disgorged late last year with three grams per liter dosage.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 98+ RP
The 2008 Champagne R.D. Extra Brut is chiseled, powerful, and packaged with a chalky mineral texture. Made from 70% Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay, with 3 grams per liter dosage, it pours a bright straw yellow hue, while its aromatics are more mineral-tinged and feel a touch more noble and upright in character. Aromatically, it opens to notes of toasted almond, preserved Meyer lemon, brothy saline, and vibrant fresh fruit. Displaying tension and grace, it has the richness of Bollinger but is more upright, with an electric mineral energy that courses through the finish, which lasts for days. Mouthwatering and long, it’s a stunner. It needs more time to harmonize all its components, but this is a wine to cellar for the ages, and I think this is going to be a vintage of RD we talk about for a very, very long time. Cellar it if you can and drink 2026-2056. Disgorged December 2022.

Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JD
Emerging like a genie from a bottle, so full of life and magic, the Bollinger R.D. 2008 unwinds gradually to reveal aromatic layer after layer of white peach, Meyer lemon confit, kumquat, wafer cookies, wet stones and acacia honey intermingling with bready and faintly oxidative, nutty notes. Medium to full-bodied and full of high-toned energy, the palate is wonderfully silky and lithe with a super fine, creamy mousse full of stimulating acid freshness, exquisite saline intensity, and a chalky finish with a beautiful citrus peel note. A blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, it was disgorged 09 December 2022 and finished Extra Brut with a three gram per liter dosage. As beautiful as it is now, it has many years of excellent drinking ahead.

The Wine Independent | 98+ TWI
This focused Champagne is all about the graceful definition of power, with an up-front, austere edge to the steely acidity, which is softened by the fine, plush mousse and well-integrated with the rich profile. Toasted hazelnut, crystallized honey, peach skin and nectarine flavors expand on the palate, accented by hints of ground ginger, oyster shell and preserved lemon, with a racy streak of salinity that drives the mouthwatering finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged October 2022. Drink now through 2038. 300 cases imported.

Wine Spectator | 97 WS
Bright in colour with gold reflections, the aromatics are immediately captivating, with marzipan, acacia, apricot and patisserie all vying for attention. It’s impossibly youthful yet reassuringly mature, a bread basket of delicious contradiction. Cerebral seduction ensues on the palate, with dried fruits, bergamot and lime joining the party, then come the hazelnut notes – which have been identified as a leitmotif for the vintage – and a clean, almost chalky finish to restore rigorous harmony. Precision in no way undermines generosity, and generosity in no way undermines potential. A very fine piece of work all in all, tasted from magnum, alongside bottle and jeroboam. Disgorged: November 2022. Dosage: 3g/L.

Decanter | 97 DEC
Bollinger’s 2008 R.D. is a powerful, vinous Champagne. Apricot, dried pear, tangerine oil, hazelnut, dried flowers, chamomile and brioche all race across the palate. The 2008 boasts notable depth and textural intensity, with a feeling of phenolic, almost tannin-driven grip from the Pinot that propels the finish.

At times the R.D. is quite exotic, even if there is a good kick of energy from the bright, salivating acids and low dosage. The 2008 R.D. is very much a Champagne for the dinner table, a wine that benefits immensely from aeration. In 2008, the blend comprises fruit from 18 villages, 71% Pinot Noir, mostly from Aÿ and Verzenay and 29% Chardonnay, mostly from Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant. Dosage is 3 grams of dosage. I would give this a few more years in bottle to fully come together. Disgorged: October 28, 2022.

Vinous Media | 96 VM
No written review provided. | 95 W&S
Here too the slightly more expressive nose is wonderfully complex with its aromas of citrus peel, yeast, acacia and a vague hint of red fruit, in particular strawberry. There is excellent volume and richness to the full-bodied flavors as the long aging on the lees is very much in evidence on the moderately dry, powerful and equally complex finale. For my taste this is largely mature and while it will hold for several more decades, I don’t see much if any further upside development potential.

Burghound | 94 BH

Wine Details for 2008 Bollinger R.D.

Type of Wine Champagne : Nothing like a refreshing, vivacious glass of fine Champagne during a hot summer afternoon. Typically combining Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, each Champagne house has a distinct style. Whether you want to sample a single varietal (such as the 100% Chardonnay blanc de blancs) or a tasteful blend, no region can compete with Champagne.
Varietal Champagne Blend : The Champagne blend is one of the most distinctive styles of winemaking in the world. This illustrious blend of grape varietals hails from northeastern France, in the winegrowing region of Champagne. The magical combination of varietals perfectly marry to the terroir, climate and topography of the region, creating a sexy, seductive and fascinating sparkling wine that is synonymous with success and celebration.

The primary grape varietals cultivated in Champagne and most used for blending are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. In fact, there are seven permitted grape varieties in the Champagne AOC (controlled designation of origin) though the other four are so rarely used they are often forgotten (Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc Petit Meslier and Arbane). The three grape varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier account for about 99% of the region’s plantings. Chardonnay is planted to 10,117 hectares, Pinot Meunier is planted to 10,521 hectares while the most widely planted, Pinot Noir, covers around 12,950 hectares.

Chardonnay brings crisp and refreshing nuances to the effervescent wine blend. When used as a single-variety offering, the wines are named Blanc de Blancs, and account for only around 3% of all Champagne bottlings. Pinot Noir is the staple in Champagne blends and interestingly, is planted in more hectares in Champagne than its ancestral home of Burgundy. It is one of just two allowable red grapes in the region. Pinot Noir brings body and mouth-filling structural texture to the blend. When used as a single-variety its creation is called Blanc de Noirs (white wine made from black-skinned grapes). Pinot Meunier, the other red grape permitted in Champagne brings red berry flavors and balances the overall blend. Though historically a blending grape, 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne wines are becoming increasingly popular.

Champagne has privileged environmental influences that give the wines produced here specific, unique characteristics that are often imitated but never duplicated. Its northern location, rugged climate, distinctive soil type and hillside vineyards makes Champagne terroir the only one of its kind. The first distinguishing factor is that Champagne enjoys a dual climate influenced by oceanic currents and continental winds. The oceanic currents help to keep the temperatures cooler, while the continental influence brings precipitation which are both essential for quality grape production.

Terroir is the second major component to the success of the grapes of Champagne to grow and prosper. It is composed mostly limestone (75%) chalk and marl with a limestone subsoil. The fissured medium provides good drainage, promoting the health and development of the vines. Each soil type is important to the stages of development. The chalk in Champagne consists of granules of calcite formed from fragile marine shells and micro-organisms. This highly porous compound assists in water movement into the root system. The limestone, being less porous allows the right amount of water to be collected while restricting erosion. Marl is just as important and contains highly rich minerals which allows the growth of berries with intense flavors.

The third distinguishing factor is the gift of Champagne’s natural landscape where the rugged and hilly terrain greatly assists in water drainage and root growth. The average gradient is around 12% with some of the slopes reaching grades as steep as 59%. The higher elevations receive greater sunlight than lower elevations at the same latitude. This feature alone creates diverse micro-climates within the region allowing grapes grown in different locations and at different Champagne houses to have unique characteristics.

The varietals of Champagne, the terroir of the region along with the oceanic and continental climatic influences come together to create one of earth’s most breathtaking wine styles. From the many styles and offerings, Brut (dry, raw or unrefined) to rose, vintage to non-vintage, Champagne blends offer to the world a euphoric, effervescent experience that cannot be matched.

Country France : Wine is the lifeblood that courses through the country of France, pulsing with vigorous pride and determination. Viticulture is not just a hobby or an occupation in France; it is a passion, a cherished tradition that has been passed down through generations of wine stained hands. Winemaking is a beloved art that has been ingrained in the culture, an aptitude instilled in sons by fathers and the hallmark for which France’s reputation was built, allowing it to be renowned as, arguably, the most important wine producing country in the world.



For centuries, France has been producing wines of superior quality and in much greater quantity than any other country in the world. It boasts some of the most impressive wine regions, coveted vineyards and prestigious wines on earth. The regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Sauternes and Champagne have become the benchmark, for which others aspire to become. Legendary producers such as Chateaux Margaux, Domaine De La Romanee Conti, Chapoutier, d’Yquem and Dom Perignon are idolized world-wide.



France has stamped its name on nearly every style of wine, from the nectar-like sweet Sauternes to hedonistic Chateauneuf Du Papes classic Bordeaux and Burgundy, to its sparkling dominance in Champagne. Many of the most infamous grape varietals in the world, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay originated in France and are not only beloved, but utilized in the creation of some of the greatest wines on earth. French wine production commands the attention of the wine market year after year. With over 860,000 hectares under vine, and numbers close to 50 million hectoliters of wine produced annually, France dominates the market and sets the standard for not only product quality, but also quantity.



France’s many contributions to the world of wine have been absolutely indispensable. The country is the originator of the term “Premier Cru,” coined the term Terroir (a French term so complex there is no literal translation) and has laid the blueprint for a structured appellation system, which others have implemented in their own countries. French vineyard techniques and winemaking practices are mimicked world-wide. California vintners have been replicating Rhone style wines for decades, South America has adopted the French varietal of Malbec and countries around the world are imitating Burgundian styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.



With vast diversity in terroir, France is home to some of the most hospitable winegrowing locations on earth. The combination of topography, geology, climate, rainfall and even the amount of sunlight combined with the long historical tradition of winegrowing and making, has allowed the vintners of France to not only hone their skills, but learn from nature to create a product that like the world in which it resides… is very much alive.


Region Champagne : The sharp, biting acidity, cutting through the richness; the explosive force that shatters the bubbles as they rise to the surface; the intense flavor and compelling, lively mouthfeel; these are all hallmarks of a good Champagne. Most wines are made from a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, but there are pure-Chardonnay variants and ones that blend only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. As a result, most wines come with a feeling of familiarity, if not nostalgia. Each Champagne house has its own unique style, so different bottles of Champagne may not resemble each other outside of the core varietal strengths. The soil composition of the subregion is characterized by belemnite and chalk, which lets it absorb heat during the daytime and release it at night. This terroir helps create the feeling of airy, playful lightness of fine sparkling wine.

These wines were originally marketed towards royalty, and you can feel a hint of that elusive blue-blood elegance and confidence while drinking one. A good Champagne carries you away like a hurricane carries small debris, and you can feel the powerful life force in each bubble even. The characteristic Champagne "pop" has become a staple at parties and celebrations around the globe - when you hear it, good times are right around the corner.

Overview

Producer Bollinger

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