Size & Type
Bollinger’s Pinot dominant blends are always a favourite, particularly when you hit the Vintage and Recently Disgorged (R.D.). The Grande Année is always a stunner. The 2008, like it’s playmates, Dom Perignon, Cristal & Sir Winston Churchill has been resting in Bollinger’s cellars for 10 years.
It’s on like Donkey Kong and this triple 97+ pointer is ready to hit your glass!
The fermentation and maturation in pièce (200L barrels) typically at least 20 years old add loads of personality to Bollingers wines. Always rich and complex, the balance of their wines is impeccable.
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“I drink Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it — unless I’m thirsty.”
Blend of the 2008 vintage: 71% Pinot Noir, 29% Chardonnay. 18 crus: mainly Aÿ and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant for the Chardonnay.
Exclusive use of the cuvee. Fermented entirely in barrels.
At Bollinger, only very high quality harvests become a vintage: in 2008, the remarkable maturity of the grapes combined with a phenomenal acidity have produced a wine of infinite depth and allowed an exceptional vintage to be created.
Maturation: Sealed with a natural cork and cellar aged for more than twice the time required by the appellation.
Dosage: Moderate, 8 grams per liter.
La Grande Année 2008 is Bollinger’s first prestige cuvée to have been aged in the 1846 Bollinger bottle with its unique and identifying shape, inspired by a 19th-century bottle with beneficial properties for the quality of the wine.
It has taken more than ten years to reveal the full quality of the vintage and perfect the unique expression of La Grande Année 2008 in an intense, complex and harmonious wine with a great ageing potential.
The intensity, a sign of the great aromatic richness of this wine, is expressed and lingers through the aromas of citrus and soft fruits, berries and spices, floral and mineral notes.
Reflections of the unique characteristics of 2008, its complexity and its extremely fresh texture bestow a remarkable depth and vitality on this wine, with a long and subtly saline finish.
Thanks to its incomparable depth and creamy texture, La Grande Année is truly a great gastronomic champagne, perfect to devour with a great meal.
When Elisabeth Bollinger (born Law de Lauriston-Boubers) married Jacques in 1923, she was also to become passionately involved with the House’s destiny. She was only 42 when she lost her husband at the height of the war. Without hesitation and with great dignity she stepped in to take up the torch. “Madame Jacques”, as she was known within the House, threw herself heart and soul into her new role. During her many visits abroad her natural grace and charm worked wonders. Cheerful and witty, Madame Bollinger was nonetheless a formidable strategist. A dauntless businesswoman, she was also highly perfectionist and would tolerate nothing short of excellence. She was always ready to innovate, and was the driving force behind the highly original Bollinger R.D. cuvée. The familiar image of her cycling through the vineyards is imprinted in everyone’s memories.
The House’s 178 hectares are planted with 85% of Grand Cru and Premier Cru vines, spread over seven main vineyards: Aÿ, Avenay, Tauxières, Louvois et Verzenay are planted with Pinot Noir, Cuis with Chardonnay and Champvoisy with Pinot Meunier. Bollinger is one of a very few champagne Houses to produce the majority of their own grapes for their blends. Pinot Noir represents 60% of the House’s vineyard, corresponding to the exact proportion of this demanding grape variety in the Special Cuvée blend. Complex and powerful, it provides Bollinger wines with their remarkable structure. Another of Bollinger’s distinctive features are two plots, the Clos Saint-Jacques and Chaudes Terres, which have never succumbed to phylloxera, the disease which ravaged almost all of the champagne wine-growing area in the early 20th century. These ungrafted vines are entirely tended by hand and reproduced using a form of layering called provignage, thereby providing the means to preserve this extraordinary heritage from which the very exclusive Vieilles Vignes Françaises cuvée is produced.
Bollinger's 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger's oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger's new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine.
In 2008, the remarkable maturity of the grapes combined with an amazing acidity has produced a vintage of great balance, concentration and depth. The wine was aged for nine years on its lees, then for another year following disgorgement. Bright straw in colour with pinprick bubbles, it blooms on the nose with a fresh lemon leaf aroma, a sniff of strawberry and white chocolate and a candied peanut toastiness in depth. On the palate it’s silky, broad and lingering, showing a kind of bittersweet fruit profile with grapefruit and peach kernel notes, and an amazing chalky, mineral finish. It will keep well. Wait to drink it if in magnum or bigger. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045
Bollinger's 2008 Grande Année is rich, ample and full-bodied, with all of the pedigree of the vintage on display. Dried pear, dried flowers, chamomile, red plum and mint develop as the 2008 shows the breadth and creaminess that are such signatures of the Bollinger house style. A whole range of brighter, more floral and chalky notes appear later, adding translucence and energy. The 2008 is 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay taken across 18 crus, and it is the Pinot that very much informs the wine in both flavor and texture. More importantly, the 2008 is one of the best Grande Années I can remember tasting. Bollinger fans won't want to miss it. Disgorged November 2018. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.
Where in the world does the magic happen?
Champagne Bollinger, Rue Jules Lobet, Ay, France