The story began with Athanase de Villermont, the youngest son of a noble family with a brilliant destiny. A great soldier who shone during the American War of Independence, he inherited an extensive estate from his family in the Aÿ area. He immediately foresaw the extraordinary potential of the wines of Champagne, but as an aristocrat he was forbidden to become involved in trade. He then met Joseph Bollinger, a widely travelled German who had left his country of birth to learn about the Champagne wine trade, and Paul Renaudin, a local man who was fascinated by the world of wine. The firm of Renaudin-Bollinger & Cie was founded on 6th February 1829. Joseph took care of sales and Paul of the cellar. Athanase had founded a Champagne House that was to endure through the centuries. It was only in 2008 that, for the first time in its history, the House placed its future into the care of a Chairman who was not a family member. With the Bollinger family’s support, Jérôme Philipon has extended his predecessor’s programme of modernisation and investment. With him, the House has continued to preserve its traditional expertise while incorporating the best of new technologies for the future development of the brand, both in terms of quality and commercial growth.
Bright and deep gold in colur. On the nose, abundant stewed and candied fruits with hints of sweet spice and orange. The palate abounds with flavours of intense cooked fruit and tarte tatin.
An ideal accompaniment to pigeon or roasted scallops. The intensity of the wine means that it pairs wonderfully with Gruyère or Comté
MATTHEW JUKES - Bollinger R.D. 2004 (Disgorged November 2017) tasted en magnum
Not surprisingly, everything about this wine is accentuated and demonstrative, visually, aromatically and also, crucially, in sheer flavour complexity terms on the stunning palate. With 3gm/L dosage, this is a thrillingly fresh wine. The blend is 66% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay. The colour is very pale gold for an R.D. and given its age, this is a very important sign for the future. Harmonious on the nose and very refreshing and bright on the palate, this is a wine that will appeal to fans of R.D. and also those who might have previously have thought this wine style too imposing and powerful. It is the completeness of this wine which impresses me most. Bollinger is refining all of its wines, from days gone by where the wines could have been marked down for being too muscular and woody. ‘Bollinger-style’ has both very positive and some mildly negative connotations. Today, with the recent vintage releases the wines show true Bollinger style, but with augmented finesse and refinement. 19+/20 drink now – 2040