Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose 2007
Brand : Champagne Bollinger
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La Grande Année is Bollinger’s Prestige Cuvée and is only produced when exceptional vintages occur. The grapes come exclusively from Grand and Premier Crus and only use the ‘cuvée’ juice in the making of La Grande Année. The first fermentation is always carried out 100% in old oak barrels, which has become quite unique in Champagne. The Cru’s are fermented in small oak barrels which enables a rigorous selection. Once the wine is bottled the second fermentation and cellar ageing are conducted under natural cork. This method, nowadays very seldom used in Champagne, is a guarantee of freshness. It allows the aromas to preserve all their bouquet. La Grande Année then ages in the cellars for at least 5 years. Wonderfully scented, fresh hay nose with a glorious, rich minerally taste. Honeyed orange zests, long and persistent and even more dreamy and biscuity the next day under a pressure top, which augurs well for the future.
Bollinger’s straight 2007 is a surprisingly good bottle of wine and the newly released 2007 rosé has again far exceeded expectations. The nose is a delicious interplay of rose petals, strawberries and raspberries along with slightly more mature notes of juicy currant and soft brioche. A broad swathe of textured red berry fruit presents itself confidently upfront with notions of crème pâtissière, almond and bruised apple slotted in behind. This is a complex and immediately appealing rosé enlivened by well integrated acidity that reveals itself on the back end. Great on its own but this also has the credentials to be an excellent match with food.
Given the house's connection to Bond, 007 sounds like a brilliant Bollinger vintage. Normally, I'm not so fond of the vintage's correct, but somewhat neutral character. I remember that major investments were made by the house at this time and the results are excellent. In my world, this is one of the most surprising vintages from the small boutique house in Aÿ. From the start, this rosé reminds us of the great vintages in the 80's, when the house style was more nutty and smoky than later years, somewhat easier and peachy creations. Tasted next to a Vieilles Vignes Francaises of extraterrestrial eminence from the same year, the wine stood well with a huge poise and power in a rich burgundy style. The aromas are dominated by dried roses, blood orange, forest mushroom, leather and hazelnut cream.
94/100 (95/100 potential). Richard Juhlin
TASTING NOTES: Containing some 6% red wine from Bollinger's La Côte aux Enfants vineyard, the 2007 La Grande Année Rosé offers up a complex bouquet of dried orange peel, walnuts, confit lemon and crisp orchard fruit. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, chalky and structured, with bright acids and a more overtly phenolic chassis than its white counterpart, concluding with a long, delicately nutty finish. William Kelley, Wine Advocate (242)