Type: Champagne
Country: France
Region: Champagne
Code: BOLL170
Cuvée La Grande Année is only produced in great vintages, when the berries are perfectly balanced, The Grande Année is the embodiment of the carefully preserved traditional expertise of the Bollinger Champagne House. Exclusively vinified in small aged oak barrels with prolonged ageing on its lees. Even today, every bottle of La Grande Année is riddled and disgorged by hand.
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12%
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Bollinger

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.
Initial scents are full of small stone fruits, with notes of Pomme Gris, plum and Mirabelle plum, layered with a touch of honey. Aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant, cherry, and raspberry follow; a medley of red fruits dances with notes of almond. Exotic touches of mango follow, dissolving into tertiary scents of vanilla and a delicate woody aroma. On the palate the wine is plump, generous and enticing, reminiscent of Mirabelle plum jam. Texture and richness define the tasting experience. The finish blends notes of chocolate and citrus fruits, bringing a touch of acidity, lengthened further by hints of schist. A hugely generous wine!
The creamy effervescence works well with meat dishes, mushrooms, nuts and red berries as well as complex flavours such as citrus peel.
La Grande Année 2015 is a blend of 11 crus, predominantly 60% of Pinot Noir from Verzenay, Aÿ and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ and 40% of Chardonnay from Chouilly and Avize. Fermentation takes place entirely in oak barrels and the wine is aged, sealed with a natural cork, for more than twice the time required by the appellation. Dosage is moderate, 8 grams per litre. Producer Tasting Note:

A forward vintage for La Grande Année, with warmth evident in its roasted orange, Comice pear and Mirabelle plum, all polished with a sense of savoury maturity that is very Bollinger at heart. There’s a little more oxygen influence seemingly at play than in the 2014, with brine, nuts and a little dried leaf character already taking this far beyond fruit. The food-friendly chewiness of 2015 is there, but the mousse is supple and the Chardonnay brings the wine to a close with a fine, cooked lemon snap. This will start to show its best integration from 2025 onwards, although it is open for business now. Decanter 2024. Bollinger's 2015 Brut Grand Année is an intriguing wine in that is clearly reflects the decision to pick on the later side in order to avoid vegetal notes derived from the mismatch of alcoholic and phenolic ripeness. "Balance was hard to achieve in 2015," Chef de Cave Dennis Bunner notes. "At 10% in sugar, the fruit was simply not ripe. We had to wait to reach the optimal window of ripeness." Bunner also opted to increase the Chardonnay, so the blend is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, as opposed to the more typical 70/30 blend, with more Verzenay than Aÿ in the Pinots. Dried citrus peel, sage, menthol, sage, tangerine peel and spice build with some coaxing. Light tropical overtones develop with aeration. There's real density and textural richness here. This will be a fascinating vintage to follow. Stylistically, it is the complete opposite from the much more linear 2014 that precedes it. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged: May 2023. Antonio Galloni, Vinous96/100

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