Bollinger La Grande Année 2012
#10 Wine of the Year in Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2020 Rated 97 points :
'Founded in 1829, Bollinger is one of Champagne’s few remaining grandes marques that’s entirely family-owned. Cellar master Gilles Descôtes was elevated to head winemaker in 2013. He blended the 2012 La Grande Année, a racy version that doesn’t hold back, deftly pairing an intense spine of acidity with an expressive range of flavors offered by the two-thirds Pinot Noir, one-third Chardonnay blend, sourced from premiers and grands crus vineyards. Following tradition, primary fermentation occurred in a mixture of 228- and 400-liter, neutral oak barrels. After blending and bottling for secondary fermentation, the 2012 aged in Bollinger’s cellars for six years before disgorgement in 2019.' Wine Spectator
At the House of Bollinger, only very high quality harvests become a vintage Champagne, and the exceptional 2012 vintage led to Bollinger creating this expressive wine that is simultaneously full, fresh and complex. Made of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, La Grande Année 2012 is the embodiment of the carefully preserved traditional expertise of the Bollinger Champagne House. The wine is exclusively vinified in small oak barrels, a traditional hand craft method, never abandoned by Champagne Bollinger. After a prolonged aging on its lees, every bottle of La Grande Année is riddled and disgorged by hand, again in the traditional method. Made from fruit from 21 crus, mainly Aÿ (which is where the house is located), and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir, along with Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry for the Chardonnay.
The delicate color and golden hues are a sign of the wine's maturity and Bollinger's wine-making methods. The nose is full and expressive. Apricot, almond and hazelnut, followed by notes of honey and cereals intertwining in a symphony of aromas. On the palate there is exceptional texture and structure. Dense, silky with a long finish. Fresh and full with a delicious refined finish. Pair with scallops with sorrel and vanilla, grilled oyster, smoked butter and sea purslane, hen of the woods mushroom, potato emulsion and truffle.
|Region||France, Champagne, Ay|
Wine SpectatorThis goes from zero to 60 right out of the gate, with an intense spine of acidity driving tightly meshed flavors of crushed black currant, ground coffee, candied grapefruit peel and toasted almond. The profile expands on the palate, carried by the fine, raw silk–like mousse. Richly aromatic and expressive from start to lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged July 2019. Drink now through 2037.
Wine AdvocateDisgorged in July 2019, Bollinger's 2012 Brut La Grande Année is showing well, offering up an incipiently complex bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh peach, orange oil, toasted walnuts and dried apricot that's still quite reserved with less than a year on cork. Full-bodied, deep and muscular, the 2012 is blockier and broader-shouldered than its 2008 predecessor, with a weightier and even more concentrated palate built around a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a chalky finish that carries appreciably dry extract. This isn't quite as elegant as the exquisite 2008, but it is a superb effort and obviously built to age.
VinousThe 2012 Grande Année is vibrant and wonderfully nuanced. Citrus peel, orchard fruit, brioche, dried flowers and chamomile are all finely knit in a Grand Année built on energy and persistence more than size. Readers will find a restrained Grand Année in 2012. There is plenty of the textural richness that is such a signature of the house style, but I am also struck by the wine's freshness. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well right out of the gate. It is quite expressive today, even in the early going.