Bollinger Grande Année 2012

If it's good enough for James Bond, it's good enough for me! 98 Points from Tyson

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. On the back of the 2008 releases, the 2012 are showing very strong form. The 2012’s I’ve tried so far have had excellent depth and length, great purity, and line of acid.

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.


$245ea in a straight 6+

Only 2 left in stock

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

“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.”
Lily Bollinger House of Bollinger Champagne

Blend of the 2008 vintage: 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay; 78% grand crus, 22% premier crus; 21 crus, mainly Aÿ and Verzenay for Pinot Noir, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry for Chardonnay.

Exclusive use of the cuvee.  Fermented entirely in barrels.

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.

2012 Depth & Refinement

We’ve seen a great selection of 2012’s come through. In summary they are showing excellent depth and length, great purity, and line of acid.

Looks like Bollingers La Grande Année will add to the list of great 2012 releases.

Thanks to its incomparable depth and creamy texture, La Grande Année is truly a great gastronomic champagne, perfect to devour with a great meal.

Madame Bollinger

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 Vineyards

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.

98 Points

The bombastic complexity that defines Bollinger rises to a grand and flamboyant crescendo in the mighty 2012 season. True to the vintage, it presents a medium straw hue, deeper in colour, tone and mood than the dynamic 2008 before it. The pure red and black cherries of ripe pinot noir from the grand slopes of Aÿ are masterfully toned by the perfume and energy of the north-east-facing hillside of Verzenay, backed by the citrus zest of Le Mesnil and Oiry chardonnay. It’s simultaneously ripe, juicy, zesty and tense, with fruit presence of tantalising beauty seamlessly fused with fine chalk minerality and an acid line of sensational drive, yet at every moment perfectly ripe and effortlessly integrated. Fruit rightly takes a confident lead here, with the fig, spice, honey and roast almond of barrel fermentation and bottle age welling up in a rising background chorus. The modern era of Bollinger’s attentiveness in the vineyards and cellar characterises a style ever more pure and seamless. This does nothing to diminish the multifaceted layers of signature complexity of Bollinger. Indeed, it somehow manages to pull off the feat of achieving precisely the opposite, magnifying and focusing its myriad details with greater clarity than ever. This serves to present the mood of the season with more articulate typicity than ever, while celebrating all of the rumbling depth and power that we love of Bollinger. While it won’t live as long as the enduring 2008 (no house will) it achieves equal heights of fantastic line and incredible length. The result is consummately 2012, emphatically Bollinger and gloriously, irresistibly delicious.

Tyson Stelzer

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Champagne Bollinger, Rue Jules Lobet, Ay, France