2014 Grande Année Brut Champagne Bollinger
|Grapes||Chardonnay, Pinot Noir|
Racy 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 Drinking range: 2022 - 2037 Rating: 97 Alison Napjus, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2022)
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A blend of the 2014 vintage – 61% Pinot Noir and 39% Chardonnay; 19 Crus, mainly Verzenay for Pinot Noir and Chouilly and Oiry for Chardonnay. Fermented entirely in oak barrels, 8 g/L dosage. This is yet another perfectly honed LGA, and there is a vinosity and grandeur here that nods to the flavour impact and depth of R.D, which in itself is a remarkable achievement for this vintage creation. 2014 is a quintessential LGA, and while the colour is pale gold in hue, it has a flavour impact that carries more heft than you might expect, balanced by a certain palate rigidity and extraordinarily energetic acidity that snaps down reliably on the finish. While this is a curiously delicious wine already, there is clearly an enormous amount of potential here for carefully cellared bottles. Having said this, 2014 LGA is already tremendously sexy, and I found myself smelling, tasting, smelling, tasting with metronomic desire, feeding my brain and my palate’s craving for wave after wave of exquisite perfume and flavour. I cannot see the on-trade holding back here as this bottle will be inevitably listed the moment it arrives on the doorstep, but private clients ought to exercise more restraint! Following the flamboyant B13 release last year, 2014 LGA slams back to the classical Bollinger Vintage model with alarming formality and respect this year, and for that, I am grateful. While the world around us eddies and flows with moments of profound joy and also dark sadness, it is immensely reassuring that Bollinger manages to keep our palate on the straight and narrow, reminding us all that plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Drinking range: 2022 - 2035 Rating: 18.5 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Mar 2022)
"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. Drink 2022-2044." Rating: 98 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Mar 2022)
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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