La Grande Année is the embodiment of the carefully preserved traditional expertise of the Bollinger Champagne House. The wine is therefore exclusively vinified in small, aged oak barrels. Champagne Bollinger has never abandoned this traditional method, which results in aromas of great finesse. After 7.5 years ageing on its lees (more than twice the requisite) every bottle of La Grande Année is riddled and disgorged by hand.
At Bollinger, only very best harvests become a vintage: the 2014 vintage gave rise to a wine that is simultaneously structured, rich and complex, in terms of both its minerality and exceptional intensity.
‘Bollinger fans will want to be sure to check out these new releases. I was quite taken with the Champagnes I tasted recently with General Manager Charles-Armand de Belenet and Deputy Cellar Master Denis Bunner.
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: 2024-2044.’ 98 pts Antonio Galloni, Vinous March 2022
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