Last night a new champagne friend introduced me to her “deserted island” list. If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only take 5 different champagnes (totally realistic scenario of course!), what would they be? Champagne Bollinger is on my list!
I find Bollinger is a ‘serious’ wine and one I often recommend to red wine drinkers (mostly men) who I want to try champagne, but I know they need something pretty powerful to enjoy it. Fancy wine critics say things like “full-bodied” or “bold” or “up-front” or “powerful”. I think of Bollinger as a ‘blokey’ champagne, it’s on my man-champs list, and with all its oak-fermented goodness it is definitely food champagne (although I have enjoyed Bolly countless times sans-food too.)
Bollinger has a very distinct style, characterised by full-bodied richness and robustness. The pinot-heavy blend famously fermented in oak barrels is a rich, strong, and almost masculine blend.
85% of its vineyards are Grand Cru and Premier Cru vines, with its home in Aÿ, a village with a very strong, unique and quality pinot noir production. Bollinger has the only two plots in the entire region of champagne (the Clos Saint-Jacques and Chaudes Terres) to survive phylloxera, a disease which destroyed the wine-growing area in the early 20th century.
Champagne Bollinger – Bond’s champagne
The Bolly sensations are fitting and deserving of the house’s partnership with James Bond, the sexiest spy on the planet. The two icons have enjoyed a long and strong partnership with Bollinger the official champagne of James Bond.
Drinking any glass of Bollinger for me is like the taste equivalent of listening to Adele… who happened to sing one of the most powerful Bond themes (to one of the greatest Bond films) of all time… Skyfall. Soulful, powerful and rich. Her voice can move you, break your heart, make you want to cry and fall in love all at once. And La Grande Année is like rolling in the deep… I can feel “a fire starting in my heart, reaching a fever pitch, and it’s bringing me out the dark.”
But for the more technically minded, let’s take a look at the wine in more traditional terms…
The entire Bollinger Collection
Special Cuvée – 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier.
Rosé – 62% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay, 14% Meunier, only 5 to 6% red wine added.
La Grande Année 2007 – 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay.
La Grande Année Rosé 2005 – Madame Bollinger agreed to a Bollinger rosé under one condition, it had to be extraordinary, and that is how La Grande Année Rosé was born.
Bollinger R.D. 2002 – James Bond’s favourite champagne, 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.
Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2006 – Pinot Noir derived from two single plots adjacent to the House in Aÿ: Non-grafted vines grown in the traditional en foule layering system and worked entirely by hand.
La Côte aux Enfants 2013 – 100% Pinot Noir Grand Cru from Aÿ.
More about Bolly
You can’t really think or talk about Champagne Bollinger without recalling this famous quote from Madame Lily Bollinger.
Read more about Champagne Bollinger on the Bollinger website or read more of what I have written about Champagne Bollinger below…
Try the champs from this house and let me know what you think! Make sure you post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute #happychamper
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