La Grande Année is the Prestige Cuvée of Champagne Bollinger.
It is only produced when exceptional quality harvests occur, and is the expression of Bollinger’s know-how. More than the illustration of the vintage particularity, La Grande Année is the result of the Bollinger style, of its exceptional “terroir” and traditional wine making techniques.
La Grande Année develops a beautiful rounded structure and combines rich, complex and intense aromas, the expression of which changes according to the characteristics of the vintage
- FRA - Champagne
1999 was 'quite a good year.' The Pinot Noir / Chardony mix is 63% / 37% on this wine, which de Montgolfier described thus: 'At first we called this a feminine wine. Now I realise that feminine means “strong”.' A wine that still has 10 years age ahead of it, it has wonderful hazelnut flavours with persistent length and finesse and a dry, acidic finish. 'This is a wonderful tall girl with great character. She looks sweet but she is very strong.' Decanter (Feb/2009)
"The Bollinger House style is in full effect here; edgy and complex yeasty characters, sweet and sour citrus fruits, freshly rolled bread dough, really fresh. The palate is a ball of intense fruit supplemented with woody spices, finishing with taut fresh acidity; this will age handsomely." Rating 93 & 4 1/2 Stars - Nick Stock, Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2009
"If it is good enough for 007, how can you resist? One of the best from 99. Serious bubbles." Rating 94 - Ken Gargett, Courier Mail (06/Dec/2008)
"…there are wonderful dry fruits, minerality and sweet hazelnuts, all finely in balance. The layers get more complex, bringing in toast as well as acidity. Almost ready but worth ageing."Rating 96 - Wine Enthusiast(Dec/2008)
"Exceptiol wine of power and finesse. The wine is left on yeast lees for five years during which time it picks up further character and flavour. Intensely complex with mix of creamy nuttiness and a firm mineral thread lifted with a fine citrus edge." Rating 96 - Ray Jordan, West Australian, (25/Oct/2008)
Winery Tasting Notes
63% Pinot Noir and 37% Chardonnay. The grapes come exclusively from Grands and Premiers Crus.
17 villages have entered in the 1999 blend, 82% from Grands Crus and 18% from Premiers Crus.
La Grande Année is exclusively produced with the wines from the “cuvée” juice. The first fermentation is always 100% carried out in oak barrels, which has become quite unique in Champagne.
The Crus are fermented in small oak barrels, which enables a rigorous selection. Bollinger only uses old barrels (5 years and more), in order to generate neither an oaky taste nor tannins.This method reinforces the aromatic complexity and the ageing potential of the wines.
La Grande Année ages in the cellars for at least 6 years and more. After manual disgorgement, La Grande Année benefits from a low dosage (7 to 9 G/L) and then rests for a minimum of 3 months prior to shipment.
This is the necessary time for the wine to digest completely the “liqueur d’expédition” (dosage) and to recover for a perfect balance.