Bollinger, La Grande Année 750ml 2012France, Champagne
From the epitome of extremes (frost, hail, rain and drought), the exceptional 2012 has widely been described as a ‘miraculous’ vintage. For Bollinger, 2012 was ‘one of the ultimate statements of Pinot Noir’. So much so, in fact, that both a Brut and Rosé were made. As with all Grande Année wines, both 2012s were fully fermented in oak, aged under cork and agrafe, hand-riddled and hand-disgorged in May 2019 after 7 years on the lees.
Blend: 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay
‘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. Drink 2024 - 2050.’ – William Kelley, Wine Advocate, 95/100
‘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.’ – Richard Juhlin, 95/100
‘The 2012 Grande Année is vibrant and wonderfully nuanced. Citrus peel, orchard fruit, brioche, dried flowers and chamomile are all finely knit in a Grand Année built on energy and persistence more than size. Readers will find a restrained Grand Année in 2012. There is plenty of the textural richness that is such a signature of the house style, but I am also struck by the wine's freshness. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well right out of the gate. It is quite expressive today, even in the early going. 2020 – 2030.’ – Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 94/100
About Champagne Bollinger:
Created in 1829, this wine estate has always pushed its visionary projects. From the beginning, the owners have had a constant desire to grow their estate while extending the influence of the Bollinger brand. The house took an historic turn when Elisabeth Bollinger took charge of the company. At first, she acquired new vines in Aÿ, Mutigny, Grauves and Bisseuil. Furthermore, in 1961 she created the ‘Recently Disgorged’ R.D. style which is a Champagne that has been aged on its lees for longer than usual. Lily, as she is affectionately known, raised the Bollinger brand to its legendary status. History will remember her silhouette crossing the vineyards by bicycle and her famous quote: ‘I drink it 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.’
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More wines from this producer
AG: Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com | AM: Allen Meadows of Burghound.com | CE: Christian Eedes of Winemag.co.za | DEC: Decanter | GS: Greg Sherwood MW | JS: James Suckling | JR: JancisRobinson.com | JD: Jeb Dunnuck | NM: Neal Martin of Vinous.com OM: Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show | PG: Platter's Guide | ST: Stephen Tanzer of Vinous.com | TA: Tim Atkin MW | VIN: Vinous.com | WA: Wine Advocate | WE: Wine Enthusiast | WM: Winemag.co.za Report | WS: Wine Spectator