The Friday Bubble – Review of Bollinger La Cote aux Enfants Champagne 2013 with Essi Avellan MW

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Today on The Friday Bubble with Essi Avellan MW and Nick Baker ; Bollinger La Cote aux Enfants Champagne 2013. This is the second release from Bollinger’s iconic Aÿ plot following on from 2012.

La Cote aux Enfants’ is a steep sided 4 hectares vineyard established by Jacques Bollinger between 1926 and 1934. This historic piece of land has two defining features: the south slope, which is vinified as a still red wine, and the north-west slope, which was the previously hidden side of the vineyard used exclusively to splice the blend in La Grande Année Rosé.

2013 was characterised by a particularly late growing cycle. The never-ending winter was followed by a very cool, late spring. we had to wait until the start of July for flowering to begin – something we hadn’t seen in Champagne for quite some time! Fortunately, summer was glorious with plenty of sunshine, record temperatures and very low rainfall, ideal for the ripening of the Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. the temperatures were cool for the October harvest and the resulting wines are elegant and fresh – the signs of a “classic” vintage.

94-96/100 Essi Avellan MW

“The late harvest season that left a brisk acidity to the wines gave its strong mark to this cuvée too, pushing the fine chalky-mineral qualities to the fore. Only the grapes from the coolest spots of the large monopole vineyard find their way into this cuvée. Thus, a crispy crunchiness of the fruit is evident alongside the strong mineral highlights. The deep gold-toned colour shows evolution. On the nose yellow apple, apricot tart and waxy notes are further complexed by a fine toasty undertone. The oaky notes linger elegantly at the back, leaving the fruit to the fore. The year’s imprint comes across strongly on the super saline palate with unmissable chalky tone. Even if this march 2022 disgorgement with over a year on cork is beautifully expressive already, due to its tightness and pure and bright fruit quality, it comes with fine ageing potential. Dosage 4 g/l. ”