2008 RD Extra Brut Champagne Bollinger
|Grapes||Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir|
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. Drinking range: 2023 - 2038 Rating: 97 Alison Napjus, The Wine Spectator (Oct 2023)
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(“R.D.” stands for recently disgorged; this starts as a Grand Année and is allowed to mature for an extra 8 to 20 years, sometimes more, 71% pinot noir, 29% chardonnay, 18 crus are blended together, mostly Aÿ and Verzenay for pinot noir and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant for chardonnay, disgorged Oct. 2022, SRP $440, 3 g/L). 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. Drinking range: 2023 - Rating: 94 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Oct 2023)
This beautifully sparkling 2008 is surprisingly light in colour, but will surely deepen towards more golden tones in the near future a little further from its fresh disgorgement date. The colossal and wonderful scent is of such dignity that words can never do it full justice. If I do try to describe this unique perfume, it is dominated by hazelnut cream from Piedmont, Domori chocolate from Venezuela, madeleine cookies, almond paste, wood sauna, gunpowder, grilled beef, duck liver, honeysuckle, mushroom cream, honey and nougat. It takes a long time in the glass before the fruit appears and at the same time the nutty and grilled aromas tone down a bit. The taste is vibrantly fresh while being rich and grilled nutty. Here, minerality and sea aromas such as iodine and oyster shells show up together with an apricot-like sublime fruitiness. After a fresh attack, my senses are left supremely satisfied with an exemplary long aftertaste of honey. Rating: 97 Richard Juhlin (Mar 2023)
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. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 98+ William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (Mar 2023)
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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