The market for Champagne is particularly strong at the moment, especially so for cuvée prestige wines from the great vintages. The current focus is very much on the 2008 vintage, which seems set to go down as one of the all-time greats.
2008 has had a buzz about it for a decade now, and it is well-justified. Every 2008 we have tasted here has been exemplary: 2008 Dom Pérignon, 2008 Comtes de Champagne, 2008 Cristal: they are all candidates for “best ever”. The vintage also marked a return to form for Bollinger Grande Année after run of vintages that didn’t quite hit the mark. It is safe to say that Grande Année is very much back on form and that the 2008 is a brilliant wine – the best since 1990.
Our full listings of 2008 Champagne can be seen HERE.
|Champagne||2008||Bollinger La Grande Année||BT||2 \ 0||24||1,800.00||12||24||200||98.00||98.00||Bollinger Grande Annee||0.75||30|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
This is a regal and heroic Bollinger characterized by restrained power and energetic energy. I love meeting this untouched force and carefully analysing its sublime elements, but at the same time I have to admit that we are dealing with a real "vin de garde" that will not reach its maximum capacity before its 25th birthday. The structure is impressive, based of course on the high acidity of the vintage in the first place. This very high acid means that the other building blocks can appear as subordinate, but they have a great wealth of both oak embossed secondary aromas and flaunted dark fruit. At present, the aromatic spectrum is characterized by fresh hazelnuts from Piedmont, green apples, critical minerals and perfumed orange blossoms. Buy a box and follow its aromatic journey to heaven.
Bollinger's 2008 Grande Année is rich, ample and full-bodied, with all of the pedigree of the vintage on display. Dried pear, dried flowers, chamomile, red plum and mint develop as the 2008 shows the breadth and creaminess that are such signatures of the Bollinger house style. A whole range of brighter, more floral and chalky notes appear later, adding translucence and energy. The 2008 is 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay taken across 18 crus, and it is the Pinot that very much informs the wine in both flavor and texture. More importantly, the 2008 is one of the best Grande Années I can remember tasting. Bollinger fans won't want to miss it. Disgorged November 2018. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.
Bollinger's 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger's oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger's new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine.
2022 - 2060
A wonderfully elegant, pure and airy nose is beautifully layered with its pretty array of green apple, pear, white flower, rose petal, yeast and plenty of citrus elements. The elegance continues on the racy and intense flavors that are supported by a very fine mousse that imparts a lilting mouth feel to the notably dry, crisp and strikingly complex finale. This is an absolute knockout and a wine that should age for a very long time but because the complexity is so impressive, it could actually be enjoyed now. Even so, I will stash my bottles away for at least another 4 to 5 years.
Pale straw in colour with a vibrant mousse. Highly perfumed on the nose with intense floral notes and fresh brioche. A hint of smoked almond and an attractive spiciness. Melon and citrus fruits. Wonderful concentration and complexity. Classic Bollinger in a big, robust Pinot Noir predominant style. This wine has incredible richness but with an impressive steely cut in fresh citric acidity and magnificent structure. Great tension between ripe and opulent stone fruits and zesty minerality. Opulent, intense and complex; this is a fabulous Bollinger which is irresistible already but also has superb potential to age. Possibly the best 2008 release which we have tasted so far and the best young Bollinger Grande Annee that any of us can remember. Highly recommended. 71% Pinot Noir & 29% Chardonnay. Disgorged April 2018.
The 2008 La Grande Année is another brilliant 2008 that delivers the goods. Straight-up awesome notes of stone fruits, white flowers, honeysuckle, and an incredible, liquid rock-like minerality all emerge from the glass, and it develops more nuance, spice, toasted bread, and an almost Alsatian Riesling-like petrol character over the course of the evening. It’s a full-bodied, rich, powerful Champagne, yet like the top 2008s, it has brilliant precision, purity, and focus. It’s unquestionably one of the finest versions of this cuvée ever produced, although it needs another 4-5 years of bottle age to hit prime time. It should keep for 3-4 decades. Bravo!