2007 Grande Année Brut Champagne Bollinger
|Grapes||Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir|
70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay from 14 crus: mainly Aÿ and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir, Cramant and Oger for the Chardonnay. 91% grands crus and 9% premiers crus. Made using only the cuvée juice and fermented entirely in older barrels. Under cork during lees ageing. Disgorged June 2016. Dosage 7 g/l. From bottle. To the surprise of all the tasters round the table, the bottle of the 2007 seemed fresher and more youthful than the magnum. It was less open, tighter, with more obvious citrus character and pear fruit, even seems to taste drier but that is probably just because the whole thing seems fresher. Not as broad as the wine from magnum but more persistent, and, as far as this bottle is concerned, better ageing potential. Drinking range: 2018 - 2028 Rating: 17.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Jun 2017)
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Famously only fermented in barrels, the latest LGA vintage has a healthy 70% dose of Pinot Noir with a real weight and presence to the honeycomb, roasted nuts and dried apricot flavours, freshened up with sour grapefruit. Blissful bubbles, with 7g/l dosage. Rating: 94 www.thewinegang.com (May 2017)
It might seem a bit surprising that Bollinger skipped the great vintage of 2006 for the more modest 2007. For me that choice is however quite logical since the Bollinger house style is much better suited to austere vintages than for fruit bombs. Here we have a classic and perfectly balanced Bollinger with deep layers and beautiful crisp apple acidity. Gorgeous balance between the dark and light as a perfect Ying and Yang marriage. Layers of dry cocoa, hazelnut fudge, dried apricots and juicy red apples dominate over a beautiful hint of forest aromas based on sous bois and mushrooms in the background. One of the three best champagnes from this vintage. Rating: 95 Richard Juhlin, Decanter, Champagne Guide (Jan 2017)
The Stats – 70% Pinot Noir & 30% Chardonnay, this spectacular Champagne is mainly drawn from Aÿ and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir and Avize, Cramant and Oger for the Chardonnay. The overall blend is 91% Grands Crus and 9% Premiers Crus. As always, the fermentation is exclusively in oak barrels. The dosage is a sprightly 7 g/L. The Flavour – 2007 was an early harvest and this is evident in the flavour. The colour is already markedly golden and the nose sets you up for a classic LGA experience. The brioche and wild honey notes are there in abundance and the barrel tones are perfectly distributed throughout the flavour, but the most arresting attribute about this stellar wine is the acidity – it is eye-wateringly adroit. This is a razor sharp LGA which slims down quickly on the palate to a finely sharpened edge. I have not seen this level of determination before in this noble cuvée. Normally, vintage Bolly is allowed to relax on the mid-palate, fully taking advantage of its capacious waistband, loading wild, brazen and often debauched musk notes to its glorious flavour trail. On this occasion the core is cinched and strictly observed, and this has the effect of lengthening the experience and temporarily shocking the taster with its shin-kicking acidity. Steely, dynamic, lithe and packed with surprising tension, this is an admirable addition to the pantheon of superb vintages and it shows a wonderfully disciplined side to this magnificent wine. I love this degree of drama in the glass and this kind of acid thrill is rarely seen in new releases at Bollinger. I have always felt that the top Champagne Houses set their house style and then build on it incrementally as vintages come and go. On this occasion, Bollinger has created an unmistakably ‘Bolly-style’ wine but successfully added a finish that one might usually associate with a top flight Blanc de Blancs. It shows that you can never take a wine for granted no matter how well you think you know its pedigree. Drinking range: 2017 - 2035 Rating: 18.5 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Dec 2016)
Jacques Bollinger, who was born at Ellwanger in the Kingdom of Wurtemberg, came to Champagne in 1822. In 1829, together with Hennequin de Villermont and Paul Levieux Renaudin, he founded the Champagne House of Bollinger Renaudin at Ay. The Bollinger family have managed the House ever since. Despite Paul Renaudin dying without issue, his name remained on the label until the 1960's. Pehaps the most famous member of the Bollinger family was "Lilly" Bollinger who married Jacques' great grandson and took over the Company when he died in 1941. She is responsible for the famous quote "I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it—unless I’m thirsty" Except in the very best vintages, only the first pressings are used (the rest being sold off) and Bollinger still carry out first fermentations in oak. Bollinger own around 160ha of vineyard which account for about 60% of their requirements. They are planted to about 60% Pinot Noir.
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