23 Nov Thank you Mr Bond
Just when you start to think business is getting in the way of enjoyment a couple of great weeks come along. To celebrate the launch of the latest 007 movie, Bollinger have launched a special brew, “Champagne Bollinger ‘Spectre’ Special release 2009 Vintage” – $280/ bottle. Even better was my offer to attend a Bollinger Master Class.
So how do champagnes taste? Bollinger think of themselves as a wine house first then a sparkling house 2nd and after tasting through the range the reason is obvious. This is a range of champagnes that shows why wine industry types fall in love with wines from so call excellent years, “Bolly” is a seriously good drop that if you have the money is the best bubbles that I have tasted.
Glassware for Champagne
The trend amongst good champagne producers is to show their stronger champagnes in wider bowled glassware. The traditional champagne flute is OK if all you want to show is a nice stream of bubbles but it is too narrow and restricted that aromas too much to let you really taste the “wine.” If you buy one of these wines DO NOT use the traditional narrow champagne flute. Bollinger recommend that you use a ‘tulip’ shaped champagne glass to let the aromas intensify as a minimum and for their more complex product the use of a white wine glass is their recommendation. Personally I find the Zalto universal glass a great option.
My key thoughts
- Across the range:-
- Higher levels of Pinot Noir than others – up to 68% and most are a Pinot / Chardonnay blend.
- Mousse is fine with great mouthfeel.
- Extra time on Lees develop a slightly honey yellow in colour for all bar the Special Curvée – as well as impressive length.
- NO astringency on the back palate just beautiful toasted notes from the oak barrel aged chardonnay and Pinot Noir coming through.
- Minimal dosage yet exceptionally well balanced and they drink sweeter than the dosage would suggest.
- Serve at 12°c ….
- Drinking more complex bubbles from a white wine glass – these champagnes definitely benefited
- ‘Bolly’ grows 60% of their own grapes – Ensures the quality and supply of grand cru grapes
- Bollinger tends to age more than most and averages twice as long on Lees
- If you are after that special sparkling and you have never tried Bollinger – buy some.
- Little know trivia – Bollinger sells the tartaric acid crystals that they scrape of the barrels to Chanel for use in their exfoliant
A Brief summary of the Champagnes
- Special Curve NV -$86/bottle – Value
- Beautiful and smooth with lingering palate. This is their entry level champagne and I enjoyed it better than most that I have drunk
- Rose NV
- Light bright, elegant and dry
- La Grande Année Rosé 2005 $270 / bottle – Great
- 70% Pinot 30% Chardonnay – 5% red wine, 7% dosage, 8 years on lees
- Deep salmon in colour with a fine delicate mousse, bright fresh with spices & toasted notes coming through with a very well balance long finish
- La Grande Année 2005- $209/bottle -WOW. Beautifully fine mousse smooth slightly buttery with truffle tones. Once again the length of the beautiful finish stunned and impressed.
- The ‘Spectré special release 2009 -$280/bottle – Crisp & light with incredible length that just wanted some sashimi.
Wine of the Night – RD 2002
RD(recently disgorged ) 2002 – $380 / bottle – absolutely glorious, “Please can I have some more?”
- Wine making – 12 years on Lees in old oak barrels, disgorged 2014. 60% Pinot Noir 40% Chardonnay . Dosage 3-4 Grams
- Nose -slight buttery notes
- Colour – Light honey yellow
- Mouthfeel – Beautiful very fine mousse that seems to enhance rather than distract.
- Palate – Fresh, bright and slightly acidic, toasted & floral notes with some sweetness on the back palate !! Amazing
Bond’s Favourite Bolly
RD 1988 Magnum in Special Handblown Spectre’ Saint Louis Crystal ice bucket
$9,000 for the set.