2007 RD Extra Brut
|Grapes||Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir|
Minerally on the nose, with accents of sea breeze and brine, transitions on the palate to a deep and finely-knit range of ripe nectarine and dried white cherry fruit, chopped almond and espresso crema, and hints of tangerine peel, saffron and ground cardamom. Fine and lacy in texture, this is sleek and mouthwatering through to the finish, where the salinity returns, echoing a lasting note. Disgorged July 2020. Drink now through 2032. Drinking range: 2021 - 2032 Rating: 96 Alison Napjus, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2021)
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Bollinger’s 2007 R.D. is superb, but it is also a wine that reflects the nature of a unique and challenging growing season. In most vintages the R.D. is marked by the distinct creaminess and breadth of Aÿ Pinot Noir. Two thousand seven, though, was a difficult year marked by very dry weather, rain at the end of the growing season and an early harvest in August, something that was not as common as it has become. Selection was essential. For the 2007, the blend is composed of just 14 villages compared to the more typical 18-25. Verzenay is the main Pinot component while Cramant plays the leading role in the Chardonnays. For these reasons, the 2007 is an R.D. driven by more focus, energy and tension than readers are used to seeing. Lemon confit, dried flowers, sage, mint, crushed rocks, almond and ginger are some of the aromas and flavors that give the 2007 its complex, multi-faceted personality.
The 2007 can be enjoyed now, but I would prefer to cellar it for a few years. It will age effortlessly for decades as it moves through the various phases of its life. I was reminded of the way Champagne can magically traverse time by magical bottles of the 1976 R.D. and 1996 Vieilles Vignes Françaises I tasted recently. The blend is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, 91% Grand Cru fruit and the rest Premier Cru. Bollinger fans will notice the return of the original label, with the disgorgement date clearly visible, a tribute to Madame Bollinger, who was a pioneer in so many ways. Disgorged: July 10, 2020. Dosage is 3 grams per liter. Drinking range: 2022 - 2047 Rating: 97 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Mar 2021)
Disgorged on July 10, 2020, with three grams per liter dosage, Bollinger's eagerly awaited 2007 Extra-Brut R. D. is beautiful, unwinding in the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, citrus pith and white flowers mingled with hints of honey, orange oil, buttery pastry, English walnuts and delicately spicy bass notes. Full-bodied, vibrant and incisive, it's unusually elegant and structurally fine-boned for what is routinely one of Champagne's more muscular tête de cuvées, with a bright spine of acidity that's cloaked in vibrant, concentrated fruit, complemented by a pearly pinpoint mousse and concluding with an intensely sapid finish. Long and penetrating, this is a tightly coiled R. D. that will reward bottle age.
The fruit of an early harvest, beginning on September 1st, Bollinger's superb 2007 R. D. is an unusually delicate, fine-boned rendition of this habitually muscular cuvée. An additional seven years on the lees has brought additional textural and amplitude to the acid spine that was already evident in the 2007 Grande Année, and the slight loss of pressure during aging on cork makes for a more refined, pearly mousse that complements the wine's enhanced texture and amplified sapid nuance. Fermented in used oak cooperage, with tirage under natural cork and disgorgement without added sulfur dioxide (but now with jetting to ensure consistency), it's one of the few tête de cuvée bottlings still made very much as it was 40 years ago. While I don't tend to comment on packaging, Bollinger's decision to revive the tasteful aluminum label that graced this cuvée's debut 1952 rendition, when the redoubtable Madame Lilly Bollinger still presided over this house, does underscore what is a real and not merely superficial commitment to artisanal traditions. Drinking range: 2021 - 2037 Rating: 97 William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Mar 2021)
The latest release of R.D. – Bollinger’s iconic ‘Recently Disgorged or Récemment Dégorgé’ wine is something completely out of the ordinary. My one-word description for this sensational wine is ‘controlled’. I say this because what I adore about every single vintage of R.D. which I have tasted (and there have been many – see below) is the seeming lack of control in every sip. R.D. should be and usually is an absurdly decadent and unpredictable wine, firing off ostentatious flavour and extraordinary detail in every direction. This is why I love it so much and also why I only open it on very special occasions! What is remarkable about this particular vintage is its restraint and levity coupled with the extraordinary length of finish. After 14 years on lees, this wine is as power-packed and energised as it could possibly be and with the extra edge and vivacity coming from a fulsome percentage of Verzenay Pinot fruit (29%) added to the usual heartbeat coming from the Aÿ Pinot core (26%) this is a dynamic red fruit-dominant cocktail. The overall blend is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay coming from 14 Crus with 91% Grands Crus in this vintage. The dosage is a keen 3 grams per litre and all disgorgement is done by hand, as usual. But in 2007 the result is atypical, enchanting, surprisingly refreshing and amazingly delicious. I opened this bottle at 11.00 am and did not stopper it for a full 12 hours. I even sneaked half a glass with a chicken curry at supper time and it worked like a dream. This is not a massive firework of a wine that explodes gloriously and then is gone. Instead, it is a blazing torch of flavour with phenomenal persistence and balance and this makes it unmissable in every serious Champagne lover’s cellar. Drinking range: 2021 - 2045 Rating: 19+ Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Mar 2021)
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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