Bollinger R.D. 2002 Investment


The Bollinger Champagne House has created prestigious Champagnes with character, distinguished by their elegance and complexity, since 1829. The story began with Athanase de Villermont, the youngest son of a noble family. He inherited an extensive estate from his family in the Aÿ region. He immediately foresaw the extraordinary potential of the wines of Champagne. Upon meeting Joseph Bollinger, a widely travelled German who left his country to learn about Champagne, and Paul Renaudin, a local man fascinated by the world of wine, the firm of Renaudin-Bollinger & Cie was founded on 6th February 1829. Owning 164 hectares of vineyards of which 85% are Grand Cru and Premier Cru vines, Bollinger is one of the few champagne Houses to produce the majority of their own grapes for their blends.

Madame Bollinger created the first legendary vintage in 1967 with the launch of R.D. 1952. Bollinger R.D is the result of Madame Bollinger's great vision: an expert wine with aromas enhanced by its exceptionally long maturation in the Bollinger family cellars - more than three times longer than required. As said by Jérome Philipon, President of Champagne Bollinger: 'Bollinger R.D. is the absolute proof that our House remains faithful to Madame Bollinger's work. It is the assumed expression of the contrast between great freshness and the development of aromas found in Champagnes with great ageing potential.' Bollinger R.D. is also James Bond's favourite champagne.

The 2002 Vintage

Only the second, but already tipped to be the vintage, of the 21st Century, near perfect weather conditions in 2002 produced some incredible Champagnes. Despite being a new vintage (released just over a year ago) Bollinger R.D. 2002 has received exceptional reviews from critics all over. Most notably, Jancis Robinson MW scored it an immediate 19/20, commenting: “Very firm, savoury nose … excellent acidity and lift on the palate.” James Suckling was similarly blown away, scoring it 99/100 – an astounding score for a new release. “Super fresh, this is striking given the 10 years in the cellars … thrilling Champagne.”

Although having aged for three times longer than required for Champagne, it’s important to note that this is still a very young Champagne. Josh Raynolds, writing for, sums it up well: “This is showing an extremely youthful profile for its age and while I know that the received wisdom is that R.D. wines should be drunk soon after release, I'd let this one get some more years on it.”

In summary, this is already a mind-blowing Champagne from perhaps the best vintage of the last 20 years – and it’s only going to get better.

Market Value

If we take Bollinger R.D. 1995 - rated 19/20 by Jancis Robinson MW (the exact score she has given R.D. 2002) - and assess its market performance, we can get an idea of Bollinger R.D. 2002’s market potential.

Since it’s release back in 2004, Bollinger R.D. 1995 has experienced a whopping 224.8% market value increase, rising from £585 to £1,900 per 12 x 75cl case. This is unprecedented growth and is a real indicator of Bollinger R.D.’s market strength, but this does not mean Bollinger R.D. is a Champagne that necessitates a 10-year investment to produce worthwhile growth. The graph below shows Bollinger R.D. 1995’s 5-year market performance. Since 2010, its market value has risen from £878 to £1,900 per 12 x 75cl case, an increase of 116.4%. Whilst a longer-term investment will inevitably yield a loftier return, the 5-year potential of this Champagne is still extremely impressive.

Cellar Watch graph

Further, as with other prestige Champagnes, Bollinger R.D. is subject to an excellent vintage premium, with its value increasing incrementally as it ages. As the equal highest rated (by Jancis Robinson MW) Bollinger R.D. since 1988, the 2002 vintage has the lowest price-over-points ratio (a loose measure of value, calculated by dividing the price of a wine by its 20-point score).

Bollinger R.D. POP scores by vintage
Vintage Av. case price JR Score POP
1988 £2,444 19.5 125.3
1990 £2,200 18 122.2
1995 £1,900 19 100
1996 £1,700 18.5 91.9
2002 £1,040 19 54.7

This, alongside its glowing early reviews, suggests 2002 could be the best value Bollinger R.D. investment.

TFB In Bond Price: £0.00 per 6x75cl case

Data as at 20th August 2015

Jancis Robinson MW, – 19/20 - “Very firm, savoury nose with Bollinger's trademark fungi. Very powerfully so but with excellent acidity and lift on the palate. This is touted as a 50th anniversary offering because the first RD (Recently Disgorged) vintage released on the UK market was the 1952, in 1967 (so it was three years older than this 2002). It was launched at the same time as the 1953 on the French and Swiss markets and the 1955 on the American and Italian markets. A nod to British taste for seriously mature champagne? This wine should not be served too cool. It has real weight - though does not taste heavy. I loved it on first release as Grande Année and it is less austere now. A bit mellower and more open though still with the deep throat salve sensation on the finish.”

James Suckling, - 99/100 - “Super fresh, this is striking given the 10 years in the cellars; it has a fine citrus nose - plenty of lemon, grapefruit, yellow chalky notes, some lighter floral elements too. The palate is super dry (dosage at 3-4g) and there's a silky, sherbet-like texture, smooth, fine and long. The citrus flavours give way to the driving surging acidity, thunderous acidity, really driving and powerful. The finish twists very slowly through to light-toasted cashew fruit flavours, but lemon citrus prevails. This is thrilling Champagne.”

Wine Valuation & Selling

Customers who purchase from The Finest Bubble and cellar with us will have access to independent valuation data from Liv-ex for Champagne held in their reserves through an online personal account. When you come to sell your Champagne, The Finest Bubble may make an offer to buy depending on market conditions, however you are not tied to selling through us. If you need us to assist in selling the champagne we can do this for a 4% charge. There are no costs for providing this valuation information.

Financial Risk

We have presented information that shows the historical case for Bollinger R.D. as an investment and any forward looking statements are forecasts and not guarantees. Since the value of any investment can go down as well as up we recommend you consult with an accredited financial expert before making investment decisions.

Our Help

We are able to help you with our opinion on what champagnes and which vintages we believe offer the right qualities to consider cellaring for 5-10 years and help with up to the minute market data showing valuations, trends and transaction quantity for every champagne. We are not able to offer financial advice or advice on investments.

Contact Us

To discuss this further please contact Nick or Chris 020 7359 1608 or email us via the contact page.

Last Updated: 20th August 2015