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Bollinger La Grande Annee 2015

Bollinger La Grande Annee 2015

Mix 12
£114.00
Mix 6
£116.00
Per Bottle
£120.00
Bollinger La Grande Annee 2015
Available from: Thu 18th Apr 2024

Bollinger La Grande Annee 2015 Overview

-
Champagne Bollinger owns an impressive 178 hectares of vineyards, of which 85% are in Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages. Their land is spread over seven main villages: Aÿ, Avenay, Louvois, Tauxières and Verzenay planted with Pinot Noir; Cuis with Chardonnay; and Champvoisy with Meunier. Bollinger are one of the few Houses to produce the majority of their own grapes for their blends. Pinot Noir represents 60% of the House's vineyards and defines the House style: complex and powerful with remarkable structure. In 2012 Champagne Bollinger was certified High Environment Value (HEV) this certification rewards a number of environmental procedures implemented at the Maison.

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. This vintage is entirely fermented in oak barrels 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: A wet winter and mild spring gave way to an exceptionally dry summer from mid-May onwards. Hot weather prevailed until mid-August, when the skies opened again. Rains gave way to fine, cool, yet sunny weather for the first two weeks of harvest, which commenced on August 29th. The 2015 vintage has a lot of common denominators with the 2003 vintage but the 2015s are showing a better balance of weight and freshness with their average potential alcohol level of 10.5% and total acidity of 6.9 g/l. The quality and ageing capacity of the vintage has been questioned because of the low acidity, but to me the structure of the wine is not the problem. An average vintage and we need to see more releases before we will know for sure how good the big names will be in 2015.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 79% Grand Cru, 21% Premier Cru | Pinot Noir: Aÿ, Verzenay & Mareuil-sur-Aÿ | Chardonnay: Avize & Chouilly
Grape Varieties: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Lees Ageing: 6.5 years
Disgorged: July 2023
Dosage: 8 g/l
Drink: Now to 2030

Tasting Note: Initial scents are full of small stone fruits, with notes of Pomme Gris, plum and Mirabelle plum, layered with a touch of honey. Aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant, cherry, and raspberry follow; a medley of red fruits dances with notes of almond. Exotic touches of mango follow, dissolving into tertiary scents of vanilla and a delicate woody aroma. On the palate the wine is plump, generous and enticing, reminiscent of Mirabelle plum jam.Texture and richness define the tasting experience.The finish blends notes of chocolate and citrus fruits, bringing a touch of acidity, lengthened further by hints of schist. A hugely generous wine!
Champagne Bollinger History
+
Expert Reviews
94 → 96/100
Essi Avellan MW
“A hot year with drought issues made Bollinger seek freshness and subtlety via Pinot Noirs of north facing terroirs and an unusually high proportion of Chardonnay (40%). The nose oozes lush red berry fruit, golden raisins and tropical fruit exuberance. Rich and ripe in profile, the wine if laudably free of the culprit of the year, the vegetal austerity, which Bollinger was able to avoid by barrel vinifications’ effect in removing excess phenolics and the strict selection enabled by individual barrels. There is impressive density on the textured palate, that finishes on a spicy note adding on to the wine’s freshness. A rare success in 2015, this is a vintage for the friends of Bollinger’s classically vinous style. Due to its richness and structuredness it promises fine potential for ageing.”
96/100
Antonio Galloni
“Bollinger's 2015 Brut Grand Année is an intriguing wine in that is clearly reflects the decision to pick on the later side in order to avoid vegetal notes derived from the mismatch of alcoholic and phenolic ripeness. "Balance was hard to achieve in 2015," Chef de Cave Dennis Bunner notes. "At 10% in sugar, the fruit was simply not ripe. We had to wait to reach the optimal window of ripeness." Bunner also opted to increase the Chardonnay, so the blend is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, as opposed to the more typical 70/30 blend, with more Verzenay than Aÿ in the Pinots. Dried citrus peel, sage, menthol, sage, tangerine peel and spice build with some coaxing. Light tropical overtones develop with aeration. There's real density and textural richness here. This will be a fascinating vintage to follow. Stylistically, it is the complete opposite from the much more linear 2014 that precedes it. ”
95+/100
William Kelley
“The 2015 Brut La Grande Année was disgorged last year with eight grams per liter dosage. The wine has turned out beautifully, exhibiting a more muscular, old-school Bollinger profile in contrast to the unusually racy, fine-boned 2014 that preceded it. Wafting from the glass with notes of pear, orange oil and white flowers mingled with notions of mocha, toasted hazelnuts and fino sherry, it's medium to full-bodied, layered and textural, with a dense core of fruit framed by chalky structuring extract, concluding with a long, sapid finish.”
93 → 95/100
Richard Juhlin
“Oops, is it already time for another vintage of this gem? Amazing how fast time goes. 2015 is generally a problematic vintage with heat stress and a period of drought. It is no art to get richness and power in the wines, but elegance and freshness are rare. Because Bollinger's house style is inherently so masculinely powerful, Bollinger's eminent team focused on preserving freshness first and foremost. According to Denis Bunner, Bollinger felt that the grapes they had access to gave more typicity and greater elegance to the Chardonnay this time. Hence a slightly higher content of the green grape than in the original recipe. Perhaps even more important was the choice of Avize and Verzenay as engines. Verzenay behaves in many ways like Chardonnay with its chalky elegance and great purity. This time the shares of Aÿ and Verzenay were equal for the unusual skull. Fat Cramant and Oger were now downplayed and Avize was primarily supported by tight Chouilly. An interesting detail that reduces tannin, clumsiness and contributes to an increased sense of freshness is, oddly enough, oak barrels. This is due to its great age and the company's strict selection of the best casks that only provide microoxidation. The color is already deep golden with a fine stream of tiny bubbles fighting their way up through the glycerol-rich concentrated wine. Intense and rich and at the same time nuanced and complex. The small concentrated grapes ultimately produced an ultimate gastronomic masterpiece. The scent cannonade is classic Bollinger, but fresh and more nuanced than I expected from the vintage. Stone fruits, honeysuckle, honey, plum marmalade, Cox Orange, raspberry, almond, hazelnut, leather, tanned skin, cigar, and duck liver are all clear instruments in the orchestra playing their richly generous vintage anthem. The freshness does not come from acid this time, but from lack of water and concentrated extracts in a similar way as the even more extreme 2003. I finish I find tobacco, forest and chocolate with sea salt, a delicious combination. Precisely the saltiness and the slightly higher tannin content contribute to making this a perfect partner for poultry in all its forms.”
News Articles
  1. Champagne Vintage Guide by Essi Avellan

    Champagne Vintage Guide by Essi Avellan

    February 28, 2024

    Ever wondered what makes a good vintage and which years were the best in Champagne? This is the Champagne Vintage Guide, their overall ratings according to Essi Avellan MW and the best releases of the Vintage year.
  2. Sustainability the Bollinger way

    Sustainability the Bollinger way

    March 13, 2023

    Moving towards a sustainable future, Bollinger is now formally including commitments in the brand in the 'Bollinger way'
  3. New Release: Bollinger PN VZ16 NV

    New Release: Bollinger PN VZ16 NV

    June 21, 2021

    Today sees the next edition in this new line-up. PN VZ16 is the second interpretation in a new series that will be released every year, always with a focus on one of Bollinger’s Pinot Noir crus.
  4. New Release: Bollinger Special Cuvee 007 Limited Edition NV

    New Release: Bollinger Special Cuvee 007 Limited Edition NV

    September 30, 2020

    In celebration of over 40 years of partnership as the Official Champagne of 007 and the upcoming film No Time To Die, Champagne Bollinger has produced a limited edition gift box that brings together three icons: Bollinger’s signature Special Cuvée, the Aston Martin DB5 and James Bond.
  5. Bollinger PN VZ15 - New Release

    Bollinger PN VZ15 - New Release

    July 20, 2020

    How Bollinger’s new PN VZ 15 is a glorious deep-dive into terroir - Written by Anne Krebiehl MW for The-Buyer.Net The new Bollinger PN VZ 15 releases on 21st July 2020
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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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