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Bollinger La Grande Annee 2012

Mix 12
£99.00
Mix 6
£104.00
Per Bottle
£108.00
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Description & Technical Information
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In 1976, Bollinger Vintage was re-named Grande Année. Then in 1997, it became La Grande Année - 'The Great Year' - a name simple enough to illustrate its exceptional status, because only truly extraordinary years become vintage at Bollinger. La Grande Année made its screen débuts two years later in James Bond's Casino Royale. This vintage is entirely fermented in oak barrel and is produced from fourteen crus: 91% Grand Cru and 9% Premier Cru. 2008 is the first vintage of La Grande Année to be bottled in the new '1846' bottle which is to replicate a small magnum. This bottle has been completely redesigned, inspired by a 19th-century bottle discovered in the Bollinger cellars which dates back to 1846. The idea in using the curved shape of the bottle is to aim for the perfect balance of a “small magnum” with a narrower neck and a wider base, to very slightly slow down the oxygen exchange and therefore give a better quality wine with longer ageing potential.

Vinification takes place exclusively in small old oak barrels (20 years old on average), maintained in Bollinger’s cooperage, of which there are almost 3,500. Riddling and disgorging are performed entirely by hand, and take place after ageing on the lees in bottles with natural corks.

Weather:The 2012 weather has been hallmarked by many as very challenging but has created some stunning Champagne. Relatively low yields due to various weather conditions throughout the year. The winter months brought some frosts and hail which damaged the early stages of bud burst. August and September were very warm and this helped rescue and give the grapes a stunning maturity.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 91% Grand Cru, 9% Premier Cru | Pinot Noir: Aÿ, Verzenay | Chardonnay: Avize, Cramant, Oger
Grape Varieties: 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay
Ageing: 7 years on the lees
Disgorged: May 2019
Dosage: 8 g/l
Drink: Now to 2030

Tasting Note: The delicate colour of this champagne characterises both the wine's maturity and Bollinger's winemaking methods. On the nose, initial scents of almonds and fleshy fruits such as mango combine with citrus notes and grapefruit. On the palate, the citrus notes continue and lead the way for honeyed flavours and a long lasting refreshing finish. A champagne that will age really well.
Champagne Bollinger Overview
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Expert Reviews
95 → 97/100
Essi Avellan MW
“The 2012 marks the second La Grande Année vintage bottled in the new bottle shape, whose narrow neck is to induce something similar to the magnum effect. Upon launch, the 2012 has 10 months of post-disgorgement time and the wine is showing elegantly restrained and youthful. On the nose the old-oak character is less prominent than in most other Bollinger vintages and the deliberate oxidation is well under control and in a supporting role. The fine, cool and pure fruitiness is at the fore with lovely spicy and nutty notes supporting. Lemony fruitiness with yellow apple and ripe apricot as well as some tropical fruit emerging in the glass. On the palate the key word is balance, the wine is very complete with freshness, intensity, refined tension and chalky salinity. 8g/l dosage is spot on. Still young but has the building blocks of longevity. For me similar in quality to the 2008 but this will come around and peak earlier. ”
94/100
Antonio Galloni
“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.”
17.5+/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay. 21 crus: mainly Aÿ and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry for the Chardonnay. All base wines aged in old oak and riddled and disgorged by hand. Dosage 8 g/l. Disgorged in May 2019.
Bright crème pâtissière nose with notes of Cox's orange pippin apple and lots of development. Really quite arresting. Much drier on the palate than the nose suggests, with a certain steeliness. Bone-dry finish but lots of substance on the mid palate. More recognisably Bollinger on the palate than the surprisingly rich, flirtatious nose, presumably informed by the vintage. Low-key mousse. This is clearly a long-distance runner.”
95/100
Richard Juhlin
“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 colour 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 flavour layers,chocolate saturated complexity and added exoticism of honeysuckle in the wine's bouquet.”
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News Articles
  1. New Release: Bollinger La Grande Année 2012

    New Release: Bollinger La Grande Année 2012

    February 18, 2020

    The highly anticipated release of Bollinger La Grande Année 2012. See photos and reviews from the launch event on 17th February 2020. Limited Quantities available due to small harvest in 2012.
  2. Bollinger: Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

    Bollinger: Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

    March 1, 2020

    During a visit to the house of Bollinger in Aÿ last year, we explored champagnes from some of the region's hottest ever vintages, dating as far back as 1947. We also held a mini-vertical of Special Cuvée base vintages, tasted a trio of R.D.s and had a look at the new Coteaux Champenois.
  3. Bollinger: 2018 Vins Clairs Tasting

    Bollinger: 2018 Vins Clairs Tasting

    April 19, 2019

    Shortly after the 2018 harvest, Bollinger Chef de Cave Gilles Descôtes declared that "2017 was the worst harvest of my life and 2018 is the best". We visited the house in Aÿ to taste the base wines and also tasted some of the rarer grape varieties, such as Arbane, Petit Meslier and Pinot Gris.
  4. LIVE Bollinger Tasting and Q&A

    LIVE Bollinger Tasting and Q&A

    March 1, 2019

    On Wednesday 6th March 2019, we’ll be going LIVE on Instagram TV with Bollinger winemaker Karl Reuter, who'll be guiding us through a tasting of six Bollinger champagnes and answering questions put to him by the live audience.
  5. Bollinger: 2016.... The Next 1988?

    Bollinger: 2016.... The Next 1988?

    April 12, 2017

    The difficult 2016 vintage appears to have been kind to Champagne Bollinger. We tasted the Vins Clairs at the winery in Aÿ last month and the house are optimsitic - even drawing likeness to the magnificent 1988 vintage! We judged for ourselves...
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