Champagne Bollinger Releases La Grande Année 2014

Champagne Bollinger Releases La Grande Année 2014

Photo provided

Champagne-Bollinger-La-Grande-Année-2014

Champagne Bollinger Releases La Grande Année 2014

Photo provided

Introducing the launch, Charles Armand de Belenet, managing director of Champagne Bollinger, paid tribute to the history of the house – still owned by the same family ever since its founding in 1829 – and to its famous director, Madame Lily Bollinger, who led the house from 1941 to 1971. She was the creator of the famous RD and the Vieilles Vignes Francaises wines – two of the most famous prestige cuvées of Champagne.

De Belenet then outlined the five pillars that make up the philosophy and therefore the style of the house.

  • Bollinger’s own vineyard: the house owns 180ha/445 acres of vineyard – all of it in grands crus and premiers crus. Bollinger was the first Champagne house to be certified HVE (Haute Valeur Environmentale) in 2012 and the first to be certified sustainable. Each year, Bollinger tries to buy one or two hectares every year to “increase the supply and the quality of our supply,” de Belenet says.
  • Pinot Noir: at least 60% of all the house’s cuvées are based on Pinot Noir.
  • Reserve Magnums: part of the reserve wines used in the cuvées are aged in magnums for between 7-10 years, village by village, vintage by vintage. These are then disgorged and form part of the blend.
  • Barrel fermentation: Bollinger employs its own full-time cooper to look after its 4,000 barrels with an average age of 20 years. The Champagne house uses used Burgundy barrels, from Chanson in Beaune, as well as larger barrels called pipe. Now Bollinger also makes barrels from wood from its own forest.
  • Time: “We strongly believe we need to take time to age our wines. We age Special Cuvée for 3.5 years, La Grande Année for seven years, RD (Récemment Dégorgé) is aged for 14 years. It is really a true conviction we have, ageing on lees for us is a secret of the Bollinger taste. It creates a very specific texture in the wine,” de Belenet says.

Denis Bunner, deputy cellar master, also paid homage to Lily Bollinger noting that her motto was: “If it is good for the wine, whatever the price, whatever the cost, whatever the time, we will do it for the sake of the wine.”

To illustrate vintage variation, La Grande Année 2012 and 2014 were tasted, as well as La Grande Année Rosé 2014. The sunnier, warmer 2012 stands in real contrast to the more challenging, cooler 2014. Nonetheless, the famous Bollinger creaminess is absolutely there.

Read the tasting notes:

Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année 2012

Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année 2014

Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé 2014

FIND OUT MORE