This goes from zero to 60 right out of the gate, with an intense spine of acidity driving tightly meshed flavors of crushed black currant, ground coffee, candied grapefruit peel and toasted almond. The profile expands on the palate, carried by the fine, raw silk–like mousse. Richly aromatic and expressive from start to lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged July 2019. Drink now through 2037. Highly Recommended.
Disgorged in July 2019, Bollinger's 2012 Brut La Grande Année is showing well, offering up an incipiently complex bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh peach, orange oil, toasted walnuts and dried apricot that's still quite reserved with less than a year on cork. Full-bodied, deep and muscular, the 2012 is blockier and broader-shouldered than its 2008 predecessor, with a weightier and even more concentrated palate built around a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a chalky finish that carries appreciably dry extract. This isn't quite as elegant as the exquisite 2008, but it is a superb effort and obviously built to age.
I love the magical moment when I get the chance, as the first journalist, to lighten the cork of the latest vintage of Bollinger La Grande Année…….The wine is made from 21 villages with Aÿ and Verzenay in the driver's seat backed by elegance from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry. The wine is characterized by vitality and energy more than depth at present. The color has a brilliant golden glow and the mousse is almost panting in its resilient youthfulness. The scent is beautifully house typical, dominated by apricot, almond, hazelnut and a smoky sophisticated intensity as from a newly lit outdoor fire. The attack is stunningly intense and the weight in the oral cavity leaves nothing left to wish for. Resilient energy and fullness are combined with greatness. Anyone who has patience will be rewarded with truffled flavor layers, chocolate saturated complexity and added exoticism of honeysuckle in the wine's bouquet.
Disgorged May 2019 after seven and a half years lees ageing in bottle. 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay from 21 crus. Moving forward the house is looking to shorten the time on lees for the Grande Annee to seven years, with fourteen years for the RD. Bright, pale straw in the glass. Open, ripe and toasty on the nose with silky stone fruits and rich, toasted brioche. Good breadth on the palate with a creamy mousse and layers of savoury nut and fresh bread. However, this feels more fruit driven and ripe than many recent Grande Annees, which will make it a joy to drink in its youth, quite opposed to the firm and tightly wound 2008. Harmonious and pure through to a long finish, this is approachable now, and will drink well over the next 12-15 years.
This makes a bold statement. Ripe, powerful and creamy with concentrated red-berry, nectarine, grapefruit and cashew aromas. I love the juiciness and brightness of this wine, which has such a long, graceful finish. Only 65% pinot noir, but it tastes like a lot more. 100% barrel fermentation and maturation. Drink or hold.