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A stunning edition of one of the great vintage Champagnes that sees immense power and freshness carry the inherent complexity that is the cornerstone of the Bollinger style. Lemon rind, chalk, lime juice and light-grilled nuts here, this has terrific freshness and fragrant lift, gently sweet biscuity complexity here too. The palate’s crisp, powerful, assertive and long, delivering a wealth of apple, melon and citrus fruit flavour amid lemon biscuit, almond nougat and a jousting savoury vs. cleansing finish. It’s superb now, but will grow and develop handsomely for some years if well cellared. Drink from 2016.James Suckling | 97 JSThe 2002 Brut La Grande Annee is marvelous. The 2002 is an understated Grande Annee that caresses the palate with layers of effortless, weightless fruit. The mousse is exceptionally fine, which adds to the impression of total elegance. This is a relatively bright, floral Grande Annee with plenty of aromatic lift, inner perfume and no sense of heaviness at all. A rich, creamy finish adds the final note of complexity and pedigree. The 2002 is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, 71% from Grand Cru villages and 29% from Premier Crus. Disgorged February 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.Robert Parker | 94 RP(60% pint noir and 40% chardonnay; 71% of the fruit is from grand cru sites and rest from premier crus; disgorged February, 2011): Light gold. Ripe pear and honey on the explosively perfumed nose, with sexy floral and marzipan nuances expanding with air. Fat, full and palate-coating, boasting impressive power and thrust. Shows an intriguing blend of richness and energy and finishes long, with smoky and spicy nuances.Vinous Media | 94 VMRipe, appealing flavors of peach, Gala apple, toast and blood orange mix with a streak of minerality and notes of spice, all set on the fine-grained texture. Fresh and focused, with racy acidity and a long, mouthwatering, nut-tinged finish. Drink now through 2025. 1,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 94 WSIn contrast to the heightened expressiveness of the 2004 Grande Année Rosé this is actually quite restrained with discreet notes of green apple, pear and citrus peel. The delicious, intense and voluminous flavors enjoy a prominent effervescence that is almost foamy yet the bead is strikingly fine, all wrapped in a distinctly yeasty, dry and admirably complex finish that goes on and on. This too could be enjoyed now or held for a number of years to come depending on how much yeast character you like.Burghound | 93 BH(Bollinger Grande Année Brut Millésime (Aÿ) The 2002 Bollinger Grande Année is a lovely wine that is drinking very well today and shows plenty of structural integrity to keep on cruising at this fine level for another fifteen years or more. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a mature blend of apple, peach, lovely soil tones, a touch of honeycomb, warm biscuits and a fair bit of smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and beautifully balanced, with a fine core, elegant mousse, crisp acids and lovely length and grip on the wide open and classy finish. (Drink between 2015-2030)John Gilman | 93 JG
It’s striking that is as fresh as it is given the ten years in the cellars. It has a fine citrus nose with plenty of lemons, grapefruit and yellow chalky notes, not to mention some lighter floral elements. The palate is super dry (dosage at 3-4g), and there’s a silky, sherbet-like texture that makes this smooth fine and long. The citrus flavors give way to the surging acidity and the finish twists very slowly through to lightly toasted cashew nuts mingled with complex fruit and citrus flavors. Disgorged October 22, 2013.James Suckling | 99 JSWhen we tasted the 2002 Grande Année in 2012, I scored it 95 points, impressed by its pale chalk power, its muscularity and the freshness it expressed as a ten-year-old wine. It had the scent of a sunny meadow. With two years of additional time on the lees and a lower dosage, the current R.D. version of that wine is more extreme. If you break it apart you might consider how the barrel-aged base wines from 23 crus intensify the structure, or how the acidity of the vintage has sustained the bright, buzzing freshness of the peach and apple flavors. The fruit seems to be wedded to rock, so strong is the chalk streak of limestone. And yet the resonance of the wine, subsuming any and all of those factors, brings it together in a sumptuous texture, making it a pleasure to drink even now. It’s more sensible, however, to wait. In ten years, this should begin to fulfill its promise, at the start of its prime.Wine & Spirits | 97 W&SA wine that really needs time in the glass to show at its best, Bollinger’s 2002 RD comes from a total 23 different crus (71% being Grand Cru) and is a 60/40 split of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged in 2013 after spending 11 years in bottle, it offers a dry, savory style that quickly morphs toward more stone fruits, toasted nuts, dried earth and exotic spices. Deep, pure, and incredibly chiseled on the palate, with a gorgeous texture and great finish, this is a Champagne I’d decant if drinking anytime soon. The dosage is in the 3-4 grams range, and while it’s certainly on the dry/savory end of the spectrum, it offers incredible complexity and depth.Jeb Dunnuck | 96 JDA fine example of power married to elegance, this is impeccably balanced, with a mouthwatering palate of crème de cassis, toasted brioche, fleur de sel and crystallized honey flavors. The rich, smoky underpinning is carried on a finely detailed bead. Disgorged March 2014. Drink now through 2030. 200 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WS(Bollinger “R. D.” Brut Millésime (Aÿ)) The 2002 Bollinger R.D. is comprised of a blend of sixty percent pinot noir and forty percent chardonnay, with the wine being finished with a low dosage of 3.5 grams per liter. This is one of the most beautiful young vintages of R.D. that I have ever had the pleasure to taste, as the wine soars from glass in a blaze of apple, peach, patissière, a touch of hazelnut, beautifully complex soil tones, gentle smokiness and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and generous with pure fruit at the core, with utterly refined mousse, bright acids, lovely focus and grip and a very long, focused and complex finish. At age fourteen, this wine is nicely open for business and utterly charming, but it has the balance to also age long and very gracefully. A simply beautiful vintage of R.D. (Drink between 2016-2040)John Gilman | 95 JGThe 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.Antonio Galloni | 95 AG(Bollinger Extra Brut - R.D. Red) Fully mature aromas are comprised by really lovely brioche, citrus and baked apple nuances. There is a notably refined bead to the mousse that is dense yet a little aeration allows the beautifully delineated yet subtly shaded full-bodied flavors to shine before culminating in a beautifully long, complex, intensely yeasty and classy finish. As the R.D. almost always is, this is full-flavored yet it arguably drinks like a blanc de blancs because of its purity and subtlety. In a word this is gorgeous. Note that I have experienced some bottle variation with some bottles seeming to be distinctly more youthful than others. (Drink starting 2020).Burghound | 94 BHThis late-release version of the vintage wine from Bollinger was 13 years on the lees before being disgorged in May of 2017 with an extra-brut dosage of just 3g/L. The initial blend was 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, fermented in cask, and aged under cork. The wine is a sublime expression of the late-disgorged style, both very fresh and showing characteristic notes of coffee and toast that long lees ageing brings. The texture is very lively and crisp, and the energy of the 2002 vintage carries this to an immense finish. This wine should age for decades. (Drink between 2021-2051)Decanter | 94 DECBig names do not help if you are not familiar with a certain house style, and so I can understand everyone who dislikes Bollinger’s 2002 RD Extra Brut, which at first sight reveals a matured if not an old wine displaying toffee, floral (hyacinths, narcissus, sage), vegetal and spicy aromas (oak, cannabis, frankincense, black bread) -- but almost no fruit (at least no fresh fruit). This wine was disgorged in March 2014, but just needs a lot of time in the glass to develop its complexity. On the palate this is a very pure, fresh, lively, firmly structured and almost ascetic wine with complexity, but almost no sensuality. Very distinctive style.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RP
The wine’s name stands for recently disgorged and this vintage Champagne was taken off its lees in 2018. That gave many years for it to develop its depth of flavor, richness and beautifully memorable toasty flavors. Drink through 2028.Wine Enthusiast | 98 WETime has graced this wine, proving the value of Bollinger’s policy of long aging on the lees followed by prompt release after disgorgement. This RD (Recently Disgorged) 2004 is a joyous wine, staunch, cold and powerful at first, transforming to fresh fruit shadowed by darker tones of barrel fermentation. As it opens in the glass, revealing racy energy, a range of floral pear and apple flavors emerge, resonant with a sense of limestone capturing the sun and reflecting it back in pale power. Enjoy this over the course of an evening as its presence shifts, providing varied perspectives on a great Champagne.Wine & Spirits | 98 W&SThis is Bollinger’s 2004 interpretation of their famous barrel-aged, recently-disgorged Champagne. This time around it’s a blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, having received a dosage of 3g/l before being cellared under cork, unlike the usual practice of using a crown cap for this phase. A bouquet of raisins and spice jumps out of the glass, propelled by a magnificent mint-toned freshness. Tight and crystalline on the palate, it’s dense and yet not all that vinous in mouthfeel. The finish is one of ethereal lightness and magnificent balance. Drink with well-aged cheese. Drinking Window 2018 - 2030Decanter | 97 DECFermented in oak barrels and aged under natural corks for almost 13 years, Bollinger’s 2004 R. D. Extra Brut blends 66% Pinot Noir with 34% Chardonnay from 16 crus, 88% of which are classified as Grand Cru. The wine opens with a very clear, deep, rich and aromatic but also pure and mineral-fresh nose of crushed rocks, cherries, brioche, pain aux raisin, white nougat, chalk and ripe, yellow-fleshed fruits. Highly elegant and complex on the weightless yet persistent and salty palate, this is an intense, densely woven, firmly structured yet elegant, beautifully refined and refreshing "recent disgorgement" (February 2018) that reveals just a kiss of oxidative flavors that adds even more complexity. A great Champagne on its way to improve over many years in the bottle. Tasted June 2018.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPA 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. Drink now.James Suckling | 97 JSThe lovely nose of acacia blossom, toast and graphite leads to flavors of poached quince, fleur de sel, white cherry, lemon pith and almond skin in this dry and harmonious Champagne. Almost airy and ethereal in texture, yet the finely woven flavor range goes on and on, echoing on the finish. Disgorged June 2017. Drink now through 2034. 301 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSBollinger’s 2004 R.D., tasted from magnum, is all class. Silky and understated, the R.D is super-expressive and inviting today. In 2004, the R.D. is decidedly light on its feet and more perfumed than tends to be the norm at Bollinger. Candied lemon peel, mint, apricot, pastry and yellow fruits are all laced together in a Champagne that delivers the goods. The 2004 is 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay picked between September 25 and October 8. Disgorged: November 21, 2017.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG(Bollinger “R.D.” Brut Millésime (Aÿ)) The 2004 Bollinger “R.D.” is a beautiful bottle of wine, where the slightly leaner aspect of the vintage dovetails beautifully with the richer house style here to create one superb bottle of Champagne. It is a blend of two-thirds pinot noir and one-third chardonnay, with all of the vins clairs barrel-fermented and the wine was aged more than five years sur latte, all under natural cork. This vintage of R.D. was finished with a low dosage of only three grams per liter, but is perfectly balanced and is now starting to really drink beautifully. The bright and complex bouquet offers up scents of white peach, apple, chalky soil tones, sourdough bread, white flowers, orange peel and just a whisper of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with a lovely core, excellent soil signature, refined mousse and bright, acids, which add precision to the very long, energetic and complex finish. This is a superb vintage for this bottling, which is delicious today and should age marvelously for at least another couple of decades. (Drink between 2019-2040)John Gilman | 94+ JGStrong petrol nuances dominate the yeast, citrus and brioche-suffused nose. There is excellent complexity to the rounded and rich medium-bodied flavors that possess a relatively light mousse, in fact it’s surprisingly subtle, while the lingering finish seems almost more vinous than Champagne-like. I was further surprised by how mature this already is and to my taste there is little to be gained by further aging. To be sure this is certainly very good but I wouldn’t rank it with the greatest versions of R.D. that I have tried over the years.Burghound | 91 BH
Fragrant, with notes of chalk and spring blossom on the nose, this fresh and focused version offers a finely detailed, lacy palate of white raspberry, peach skin, toast and candied ginger flavors. Long and creamy on the spice- and smoke-laced finish. Disgorged November 2016. Drink now through 2030. 99 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WSHoney 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. Drink now.James Suckling | 95 JSContaining some 6% red wine from Bollinger’s La Côte aux Enfants vineyard, the 2007 La Grande Année Rosé offers up a complex bouquet of dried orange peel, walnuts, confit lemon and crisp orchard fruit. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, chalky and structured, with bright acids and a more overtly phenolic chassis than its white counterpart, concluding with a long, delicately nutty finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RPThe age shows in the onion-skin color of this wine. On the palate it reveals itself in the sort of toastiness for which this producer is famed. The fruit is ripe, still hinting at red berries while moving much more to spice, almonds and mature acidity. Drink this remarkable wine now.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WE(Bollinger “Grande Année” Brut Rosé Millésime) The 205 Bollinger “Grande Année” Brut Rosé is an excellent wine and is drinking very well indeed, with a vibrancy on the nose and backend energy that is most impressive. The bouquet offers up a fine combination of tangerine, wild strawberries, wheat toast, chalky minerality and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and zesty, with a very suave attack, a lovely core, elegant mousse and a long, refined and bouncy finish of impressive complexity and delineation. Fine, fine juice. (Drink between 2018-2035)John Gilman | 93 JGThis gains its light pink color from six percent of still pinot noir wine from Bollinger’s Côte aux Enfants vineyard. It’s tight, austere and tannic, still youthfully inaccessible at more than ten years of age. The scents of red apple skin, hibiscus and sage complement the red fruit, adding spicy intensity that lasts on the breath. Built to cellar. Vintus, Pleasantville, NYWine & Spirits | 93 W&SMade entirely in barrels, the 2007 rosé includes 6% red wine from the Côtes aux Enfants. With notes of redcurrant, mint and spring flowers, the bouquet is lively, energetic and subtle. The palate is moderately dense, well-defined and fresh. It’s beautifully balanced and calls for a carpaccio of raw salmon.Decanter | 92 DEC(Bollinger Brut - La Grande Année Rosé Rosé) A restrained, cool and relatively high-toned nose features notes of raspberry, cherry, strawberry, yeast and a hint of quinine. There is an equal sense of restraint to the almost delicate middle weight flavors that possess good energy thanks to the firm but fine mousse that also suffuses the delicious, clean, dry and crisp finale. This is certainly a very pretty effort but it doesn’t have a lot to say in terms of complexity, at least not at present, and as such I would be inclined to allow this to slumber for another 3 to 5 years. (Drink starting 2022).Burghound | 90 BH
The 2008 La Grande Année is another brilliant 2008 that delivers the goods. Straight-up awesome notes of stone fruits, white flowers, honeysuckle, and an incredible, liquid rock-like minerality all emerge from the glass, and it develops more nuance, spice, toasted bread, and an almost Alsatian Riesling-like petrol character over the course of the evening. It’s a full-bodied, rich, powerful Champagne, yet like the top 2008s, it has brilliant precision, purity, and focus. It’s unquestionably one of the finest versions of this cuvée ever produced, although it needs another 4-5 years of bottle age to hit prime time. It should keep for 3-4 decades. Bravo!Jeb Dunnuck | 99 JDBollinger’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.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPBollinger’s 2008 Grande Année is rich, ample and full-bodied, with all of the pedigree of the vintage on display. Dried pear, dried flowers, chamomile, red plum and mint develop as the 2008 shows the breadth and creaminess that are such signatures of the Bollinger house style. A whole range of brighter, more floral and chalky notes appear later, adding translucence and energy. The 2008 is 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay taken across 18 crus, and it is the Pinot that very much informs the wine in both flavor and texture. More importantly, the 2008 is one of the best Grande Années I can remember tasting. Bollinger fans won’t want to miss it. Disgorged November 2018. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGGilles Descôtes blends this from 18 crus, pinot noir making up 71 percent of the blend (mostly from Aÿ and Verzenay), the balance from chardonnay (focused on Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant). The base wine ferments in oak barrels, adding to this Champagne’s concentrated power. Its dark intensity has the coolness of Bollinger’s deep aging cellars, even as the wine sustains delicate notes of wildflowers, morels and the perfumed grace of pinot noir. Massive and still youthful, the flavors rounded into a sphere, this is a wine to cellar. Vintus, Pleasantville, NYWine & Spirits | 97 W&SEnticing hints of toasted cumin, ground anise and graphite waft from the glass of this harmonious, mouthwatering version, accenting the finely meshed flavors of crushed black currant, poached apricot, grilled nut and lemon curd. The texture shows a lovely viscosity, extending the flavor range, which expands on the lasting finish. Disgorged June 2018. Drink now through 2033. 833 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 96 WSPinot Noir, mainly from Aÿ and Verzenay, dominates the blend here (71%). Only the free-run juice is used for the fermentation in cask. After ageing under cork for more than nine years, it was disgorged with a dosage of 8g/L. The impression is youthful and fresh, with bright apple and spice notes and a hint of buttered toast. The texture is creamy and dense but very lively and very long. This is superb wine that will age for decades to come. (Drink between 2021-2041)Decanter | 96 DECA wonderfully elegant, pure and airy nose is beautifully layered with its pretty array of green apple, pear, white flower, rose petal, yeast and plenty of citrus elements. The elegance continues on the racy and intense flavors that are supported by a very fine mousse that imparts a lilting mouth feel to the notably dry, crisp and strikingly complex finale. This is an absolute knockout and a wine that should age for a very long time but because the complexity is so impressive, it could actually be enjoyed now. Even so, I will stash my bottles away for at least another 4 to 5 years.Burghound | 95 BHThis is the producer’s equivalent of a Vintage Champagne. Fermented and aged in wood and then kept for nine years before release, this wine comes from an exceptional vintage that manages to combine ripe fruit and acidity, meaning the wine can age extraordinarily well. Although the wine is just ready, it will be much better from 2022 and for many years after.Wine Enthusiast | 95 WE
The 2014 La Grande Année is stunning. In fact, it is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. What comes through most is the wine’s sizzling energy and tension, qualities that aren’t often associated with Bollinger, where the Champagnes tend to show more breadth and volume. In 2014, readers will find a Grande Année built on linear intensity and drive.The 2014 is a blend taken from 19 villages, 61% Pinot Noir and 39% Chardonnay instead of the more typical 70/30 mix. For the second time in two decades (the first was 2007), Verzenay takes the lead in the Pinots over Aÿ, more or less an inverse from the norm. Verzenay, a north-facing village in the Montagne de Reims that saw less rain than Aÿ and most of the Vallée de la Marne, yields Pinots of energy more than volume. That, married with Chardonnays mostly from the Côtes des Blancs (predominantly Chouilly, Vertus, Oiry and Cramant), results in a truly magical Grande Année that will delight Champagne fans for several decades. I can’t recommend the 2014 highly enough. It’s a total knock-out. Disgorged: April, 2021. Dosage: 8 grams per liter.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGRacy acidity drives this mouthwatering Champagne, enlivening the rich panoply of flavors. Features a fine and creamy mousse that’s still a lively springboard for aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, glazed tangerine, roasted hazelnut, ground coffee, pickled ginger and white blossoms. Long and satiny, with minerally salt and chalk notes gaining momentum on the lasting finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged July 2021. Drink now through 2037. 1,500 cases imported.WINE SPECTATOR | 97 WSRaised entirely in barrel, the 2014 Champagne La Grande Année Brut is all about finesse and capturing the cool, mineral tension and floral notes of the vintage. Enhancing those qualities, a bit higher proportion of Chardonnay was used for this release, making up 39% of the blend. It pours a pale straw, and it is layered and persistent with lightly toasted pastry, Mirabel plum liqueur, and saline. The palate is dry and more tightly wound at this stage, with driving citrus, a chalky texture, and a light phenolic finish. Subtle undercurrents of honey and butterscotch should continue to evolve beautifully over the coming decades. Drink 2024-2044. Disgorged December 2021, it has 7 grams per liter of dosage. | 97 JDWith the hallmark Bollinger richness that is derived from fermentation in wood and a high percentage of Pinot Noir in the blend, this grand wine is ripe, full of apple and spice flavors. It is drinkable now, but still young. Keep until 2024. ROGER VOSSWine Enthusiast | 97 WEOffering up complex aromas of crisp yellow orchard fruit, confit citrus, frangipane, walnuts, dried white flowers and subtle hints of iodine, Bollinger’s 2014 Brut La Grande Année is medium to full-bodied, pillowy and vinous, with an elegantly fleshy core of fruit that’s underpinned by racy acids and complemented by a pretty pinpoint mousse. Concluding with a long, chalky finish, this is a charming but precise Grande Année that’s more giving and demonstrative than its immediate predecessor, the 2012, but which attains a very similar level of quality in a more challenging vintage—testimony to the serious viticulture that underpins Bollinger’s contemporary excellence.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RP‘The 2014 is very closely linked to the cold vintages, which express the characteristics of the different terroirs, the soil, and therefore the minerality,’ explains Denis Bunner, assistantDecanter | 94 DEC(Bollinger “la Grande Année” Brut Millésime (Aÿ)) The 2014 Bollinger “la Grande Année” Brut Millésime is crafted this year from a cépages of sixty-one percent pinot noir and thirty-nine percent chardonnay, with all of the vins clairs barrel fermented in Bollinger’s collection of old casks. The wine was aged sur latte for six and a half years prior to its disgorgement in December of 2021 and finished with a dosage of eight grams per liter. The wine offers up a beautifully refined bouquet of apple, peach, warm bread, a complex base of soil, gentle smokiness, hazelnut and plenty of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied, focused and beautifully complex, with a fine core of fruit, excellent soil undertow and grip, elegant mousse and a long, poised and impeccably balanced finish. This is a beautiful wine that is drinking with distinction today, but has decades of life ahead of it. (Drink between 2022-2055) | 94 JG
...The complexity and richness of Special Cuvée is unparalleled among the entry non-vintage blends of every 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.Decanter | 96 DECBollinger’s NV Special Cuvée knocks it out of the park. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Meunier, with 30% of the blend brought up in barrels, it boasts a rich, deep, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of lemon curd, crème brûlée, caramelized stone fruits, and hints of toasty nuttiness that develop with time in the glass. It’s a big, rich Champagne that stays balanced and pure. Beautiful stuff.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDBollinger’s NV Special Cuvée knocks it out of the park. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Meunier, with 30% of the blend brought up in barrels, it boasts a rich, deep, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of lemon curd, crème brûlée, caramelized stone fruits, and hints of toasty nuttiness that develop with time in the glass. It’s a big, rich Champagne that stays balanced and pure. Beautiful stuff.Jeb Dunnuck | 93 JDRestrained and very pretty aromas include those of yeast, Meyer lemon, petrol and green apple where the latter element is picked up by the utterly delicious, vibrant and detailed flavors that possess fine complexity on the agreeably dry but not austere finish. The supporting mousse is dense but fine and overall, this is a wine that could be enjoyed now or held for up to a decade. Excellent. (Drink starting 2024)Burghound | 93 BHOne of Bollinger’s great assets is a massive stock of reserve wine, including 600,000 magnums held under cork. Gilles Descôtes tends those reserves, working with the blending team to subsume the variations of the current vintage into Bollinger’s Special Cuvée by using a majority of reserve wines in the blend. The result is a rich and harmonious Champagne with deep reserves of flavor. Its substantial, formal structure feels polished, its flavors balancing the cool earthiness of a limestone cave and the sunnier, bright floral notes of fresh cream. Built for food, whether emphasizing the freshness with lobster bisque, or the depth with beef Wellington and chanterelles.Terlato Wines Int’l., Lake Bluff, ILWine & Spirits | 93 W&S Like its rosé counterpart, the latest release of Bollinger’s NV Brut Special Cuvée is showing especially well, bursting from the glass with aromas of honeyed apples, crisp stone fruit, buttery pastry, ripe lemons and fresh walnuts. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and vinous, with a deep core of beautifully ripe fruit, racy acids and a pillowy mousse, it’s a charming, characterful wine that proves that Special Cuvée is firmly back where it belongs.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPThere’s a pleasing, snappy quality to the acidity framing this elegant Champagne, enlivening accessible flavors of currant, Marcona almond and orchard blossom, with a minerally touch of saline-laced oyster shell that lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 11,000 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 92 WSLots of biscuit aromas and a wide spectrum of fresh-citrus, candied-citrus, red-apple and red-berry notes. Mouth-filling creaminess, plus quite an imposing presence and powerful structure for an NV Brut. Long, citrus and chalky finish that’s very clean and properly dry. 60% pinot noir, 30% chardonnay, 10% pinot meunier. Almost 20% barrel fermented and 62% reserve wines. Based on the 2017 vintage and disgorged July 2021. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JSFine 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. Drink now.James Suckling | 92 JSDominated, as always, by Pinot Noir and with wood fermentation and aging, this Champagne has a great poise between freshness and richness. It is intense and ripe, with apple and minerality coming together. The bottling is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE (60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier; 8 g/l dosage; L1403801): Pale yellow. Toasty aromas of apple and pear nectar are complemented by hints of toffee, honey and orange zest. Full and expansive on the palate, offering ripe orchard and pit fruit flavors and an undercurrent of smoky minerals and buttered toast. Smooth and gently spicy on the clinging, nicely focusd finish.Antonio Galloni | 91 AG(NV Bollinger “Special Cuvée” Brut NV (Aÿ)) The current release of Bollinger “Special Cuvée” is composed of its customary blend of sixty percent pinot noir, twenty-five percent chardonnay and fifteen percent pinot meunier. It was finished with a dosage of eight grams per liter and offers up is classic pinot-shaded bouquet of white peach, apple, bread dough, a beautiful base of soil tones, a touch of hazelnut and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with a fine core of fruit, a good spine of acidity, elegant mousse and a long, well-balanced and classy finish. This is still a young wine and I would tuck it away in the cellar for at least a few years and let its acids relax a bit and its secondary layers of complexity emerge. (Drink between 2020-2040).John Gilman | 91+ JGNotes of flowery beeswax, white fruit, and quince on the nose. The palate has a flinty austerity with Braeburn, white pepper and subtle spice followed by yeasty richness and brisk finish. Drinking Window 2020 - 2025.Decanter | 90 DEC
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