A Blanc de Noirs from 5 villages where half consists of equal shares of Aÿ and Verzenay. As you know, Verzenay and Aÿ are the dominant villages in Bollinger's vintage champagnes. Verzenay is often the chalky and mineral-packed backbone of Bollinger's vintage construction and Aÿ yield the embraced generous rich Pinot Noir that gives Bollinger's wines such muscle strength. Here, the balance of the two is accompanied by red fruits and spices from the three other villages that is playing the second violin in this symphony. Because it is precisely the symphonic harmony that impresses most when the wine in large parts is youthfully fruity and anything but finished. Notes of strawberries, pineapple, banana and pear will over time be blown off for more nutty and powdery smoke dominated notes with great depth and wonderful seriousness. Personally, I will wait as long as I can before I open my own bottles to get the increasing depth of grilled hazelnut aroma that only storage can provide
On this vintage with a prolonged growing season Bollinger played the cool card, choosing to go with a high proportion of Verzenay fruit (51%). The combination of cool vintage and cool terroir is truly attractive for a blanc de noirs. Already the nose has lovely zingy fruitiness to it, lemon custard, perfectly ripe peaches and elegant spicy and chalky tones. The ensemble comes across as elegant, super juicy and purely fruity. My favourite of Bollinger limited editions so far!
Pale straw colour in the glass with a fine mousse. The nose is rich and powerful, typically Bollinger and showcasing its Pinot origins. There are layers of peach, white strawberry and cranberry accented with yeasty toasted brioche. This is both bold and enticing. The palate leads with a creamy, generous mousse and a muscular structure. The fruit is juicy and full but cut by bright, tangy acids. The complex, savoury and bready notes from extended lees ageing fill out the mid palate, making for a wonderfully moreish style. Long, round and full to the finish, this is an excellent Blanc de Noirs that is already drinking well, but has the broad-shouldered intensity to age well for over a decade.
For an 8-year-old champagne this is extremely vibrant, the red-fruit character from the pinot noir grape rather in the background. Quite a strict style with discreet lees creaminess. However the ripeness and power means that it isn’t austere. Feels bone-dry at the powerful, chalky finish. 100% pinot noir, 100% barrel-fermented and 100% matured under cork. Disgorged in March 2021. Drink or hold.