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Maison Bollinger, La Grande Année Brut, 2015 - Magnum

Maison Bollinger, La Grande Année Brut, 2015 - Magnum

Bollinger | Champagne, France | 150cl
  • Sparkling
  • Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Regular price £244.50
Regular price Offer price £244.50
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This sparkling splendour is offered In Bond, with an estimated delivery in May 2024.

Always a popular release, we're thrilled to have our allocation of the brand-new 2015 vintage of Bollinger Grande Année. Having just received a glowing 93-95 points from Richard Juhlin, Bolly have once again knocked it out the park and produced a worthy successor to the best-selling 2014. Might this be one of the finest 2015s available on the market? We certainly think so!

The house style of Bollinger tends towards richness and power, so in a warm vintage like 2015 the emphasis was on preserving balance and freshness in the wine, and they have very much succeeded.

La Grande Année is the embodiment of the carefully preserved traditional expertise of the Bollinger Champagne House. The wine is therefore exclusively vinified in small aged oak barrels. Champagne Bollinger has never abandoned this traditional craft method, which helps develop aromas of great finesse. After a prolonged ageing on its lees, even today every bottle of La Grande Année is riddled and disgorged by hand.

What the critics say:

96/100Antonio Galloni, Vinous

"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 Ay 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."

96/100Tyson Stelzer

"Bollinger’s philosophy of picking at full ripeness is ironically more pertinent in the warm seasons of today than it was in the cool vintages of the past, and never has this been more emphatically declared than in the 2015 harvest, a year in which too many lesser houses were afflicted with underripe aromas, flavours and phenolic structure. By contrast, Bollinger has captured the full, expansive richness of the season in succulent, ripe white peach, even pineapple, golden delicious apple and fig, building to blackberry fruits with time in the glass, yet it upholds vitality and tension in a crunchy grapefruit finish that declares the crucial presence of both chardonnay and northern Montagne de Reims pinot noir in moderating this blend. I tasted it before its release and long before its composition was announced, and the dominance of northern Montagne de Reims and of the maximum proportion of chardonnay in a Bollinger blend was clearly apparent. True to the magnitude of the house and the exuberance of the season, the hue is a full straw. Oak barrel fermentation unites with a full seven years on lees to lay on all its creamy richness of vanilla custard, crème brûlée, apple tea cake and cinnamon. Voluptuous fruit and creamy texture are more crucial than ever here in moderating the grainy phenolic bite and grip inherent to this season, which leaves some firmness to the finish and dictates that this is a La Grande Année for protein pairings. Think main course of game bird or pig proportions. Crystalline minerality nonetheless holds strong, declaring the ever more apparent advantage of the finest grand crus to uphold freshness even at full ripeness in the warmest of seasons. This is an année less grande than 2012 and 2014, back to the mood of 2005 (though more polished and crystalline thanks to the magic of Gilles Descôtes), and will likewise appreciate some years on cork to assimilate its structure. It’s a grand declaration not only that the intricate detail and elegance that Gilles Descôtes achieved in 2014 was no one off, but a profound confirmation of the progressive march toward refinement that defines the modern Bollinger."

93-95/100Richard Juhlin

"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."

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Bollinger was established in 1829 and is to this day still family owned. This 007 favourite only releases vintages in exceptional years - it is also one of the few Champagne Houses to produce the majority of their own grapes for their blends.

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