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Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Francaises 2012

Per Bottle
£1,650.00
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Delivery Requires up to 2 Working Days Stored Professionally in-bond outside London LCB Eton Park
Description & Technical Information
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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 the early 20th century, almost all of the vines of Champagne were destroyed by phylloxera - a microscopic insect that feeds on the roots and leaves of grapevines. As a result, everything in the region had to be replanted using American rootstock as their roots were resistant to the devastating bug. All the Bollinger vineyards were re-planted except two small plots next to the winery: Chaudes Terres and Clos St-Jacques. Both plots are incredibly small: a total size of 0.36 hectares and are the sole contributors to Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises. Until recently, this exclusive cuvée was produced from three small plots including Croix Rouge, however this plot was lost to phylloxera. The Chaudes Terres and Clos St-Jacques vineyards are grown the traditional way following the provignage method (layering) working the plot by hand and sometimes with the help of a cart-horse.

Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises has only been created as an individual cuvée since 1970 and is a symbol of a bygone era: a reminiscent, extraordinary and moving legacy.

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: 100% Grand Cru | Aÿ: Chaudes Terres & Clos St-Jacques
Grape Varieties: 100% Pinot Noir
Lees Ageing: 8 years
Dosage: 6 g/l
Drink: Now to 2040
Production: 2193 Bottles

Tasting Note: This impressive vintage of Vieilles Vignes Françaises greets you with an utterly sophisticated nose of magnificent toasty layers. Toasted bread and grilled almonds meet smoky woody nuances. The nose is beautifully reductively charged and elegantly spicy with sumptuous, sweet orchard fruit and dried fruits in layers. A fine woody note from oak lines the voluminous and concentrated palate. Rich yes, but heavy no, the juicy freshness just goes on and on. A stunningly deep and no doubt remarkably age-worthy vintage of this iconic champagne. - Tasted by Essi Avellan MW
Champagne Bollinger Overview
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Expert Reviews
97 → 99/100
Essi Avellan MW
“This impressive vintage of Vieilles Vignes Françaises greets you with an utterly sophisticated nose of magnificent toasty layers. Toasted bread and grilled almonds meet smoky woody nuances. The nose is beautifully reductively charged and elegantly spicy with sumptuous, sweet orchard fruit and dried fruits in layers. A fine woody note from oak lines the voluminous and concentrated palate. Rich yes, but heavy no, the juicy freshness just goes on and on. A stunningly deep and no doubt remarkably age-worthy vintage of this iconic champagne. Dosage 4 g/l. Bottle number 0007 tasted of 2193 produced. ”
98/100
Antonio Galloni
“The 2012 Vieilles Vignes Françaises is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. All the elements are impeccably balanced. Rich and creamy, but also wonderfully poised, the 2012 has so much to offer. Readers will find a Champagne of unparalleled elegance and finesse. Hints of apricot, dried flowers, chamomile, spice, mint and marzipan fill out the layers. I especially admire the finesse of the mousse in the 2012. The choice to pick a bit earlier than usual, given the warmth of the year and a naturally low crop, paid off big time. Dosage is 6 grams per liter. In a word: fabulous. ”
98/100
William Kelley
“Disgorged in March 2023 with six grams per liter dosage, Bollinger's 2012 Blanc de Noirs Vieilles Vignes Françaises is a powerful, multidimensional Champagne that pushes the house's vinous, Pinot Noir-driven style to the furthest. Offering up rich aromas of orange rind, mandarin oil, grilled peaches, dried fruits and pear mingled with notions of nutmeg, beeswax, smoke and buttered toast, it's full-bodied, broad and layered, with a deep, enveloping core endowed with extraordinary texture and concentration, its broad attack and mid-palate segueing into a long, resonant finish. If the 2013 vintage tended to tame some of the Vieilles Vignes Françaises's exuberance, the 2012 vintage leaves this cuvée untrammeled.”
98 → 99/100
Richard Juhlin
“Tasted prerelease with Denis Bunner when he just decided to add 6 grams of sugar. I have never tasted such a freshly disgorged VVF before and was really surprised by its bright color and lively character. Even more, I was surprised by its aromatic spectrum which in many parts reminded me of Coche-Dury's most beautiful creations from Meursault. This VVF shared its high-intensity petroleum bouquet and a really ultra-strong grilled, nutty and powdery aroma. Imagine that a pure Pinot Noir can remind you so much of Chardonnay. Added to this enormous bouquet is a fabulous freshness and pure fresh fruit where floral, yes almost citrus notes dance together with the grilled notes. A different and absolutely fantastic VVF that may become more classic from a purely stylistic perspective over time, but today it stands out as both fantastic and personally unique. ”
News Articles
  1. 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'
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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