Bollinger run to the beat of their own drum. While many Champagne houses released Prestige Cuvées in 2006, there was no Bolly RD. And when many houses chose to jump vintage 2007 Bollinger released both La Grande Année and RD, and I am glad they did.
Bollinger’s use of barrel ferment may have something to do with it – taking the edge out of the wines from the cool, damp Summer saved by a late burst of heat. But it was not perfect with fruit from a smaller number of villages than usual used in the vintage, particularly from Verzenay and Aÿ.
What it has created is quite an atypical version of Bollinger RD. It’s tight, restrained and a picture of elegance and finesse. Sweet brioche fruit aromas are laced with strawberry but the overriding impression is an almost Chablis-like chardonnay purity, with freshly sliced green apple plus a faint pinot noir toastiness. There is also none of the overt palate richness usually seen in RD, which has been replaced by a streamlined and acid-focussed style that starts with initially generous floral and Manuka honey impressions before tightening up thanks its firm acid backbone and lingering chalkiness. Superb understated power and length to this wine are icing on the cake and very promising for a long life ahead.
98 Points – Drink Now to 2040.
$440 – Available Mid-May
Released later this year, now is the time to contact your friendly wine merchant to reserve your allocation.