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Bollinger La Grande Année 2015

Subregion France > Champagne

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Tasting Notes

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. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged: May 2023. 2028-2040.

Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2024

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.

William Kelley, Wine Advocate, March 2024

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.

Richard Juhlin, Champagne Club, March 2024

The 2015 Grande Anée is a rich and gastronomic Champagne, a blend of 11 Grand Crus with a lead from equal parts of Ay and Verzenay fruit. At the time, 2015 had one of the warmest summers in Champagne since records began - though now these previous extremes are starting to become the noem. As usual, the wines are fermented and matured in old barrels ahead of second fermentation in bottle. A pale straw colour in the glass, the nose is immediately full and ripe, layering sweek citrus with white currants, honeysuckle, brioche and nutty barrel notes. The palate is broad, silky and nutty, with a creamy mousse and layered, saovury prowess that makes it a delight to drink already. Toasted nuts, brioche and whipped butter come together with notes of tarte tatin and poached plums. A vinous, succulent Champagne, you can drink and enjoy this now. Creamy and polished on the finish. Drink over the next 10-15 years.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Vintners, March 2024
Please note that these tasting notes/scores are not intended to be exhaustive and in some cases they may not be the most recently published figures. However, we always do our best to add latest scores and reviews when these come to our attention. We advise customers who wish to purchase wines based simply on critical reviews to carry out further research into the latest reports.