Champagne Bollinger La Côte aux Enfants Champagne 2012 (94+ WA) (96+)
“Readers will know of Bolligner’s Côte Aux Enfants for the still red wine produced on its south-facing slope. They’re less likely to be aware that this Aÿ monopole—acquired between 1926 and 1934 by Jacques Bollinger and defined by its high elevation, unusually shallow soils and high percentages of active calcium—also has a northwest-facing side, a side that has historically been vinified as a Blanc de Noirs and included in Grande Année or Spécial Cuvée, depending on the vintage. Given its soils and exposition, it’s no surprise that this site would produce tensile, chiseled wines, and that’s the case even in the generally rather rich, fleshy 2012 vintage. This new addition to Bollinger’s range sits somewhere between their rather demonstrative Brut PN series and their strikingly vinous, dramatic Vieilles Vignes Française. With this first release, it immediately exhibits a distinctive personality that clearly merits being bottled and released as a lieu-dit cuvée.” – W.K. 10/22
Established by Jacques Bollinger between 1926 and 1934, La Côte aux Enfants is a steep hillside vineyard located on the outskirts of Aÿ. This unique parcel has been a source of endless fascination, producing some of the most highly prized Pinot Noir in the region. Aware of its potential, it became Champagne Bollinger’s ambition to produce a great vintage Champagne exclusively from this vineyard, with 100% Pinot Noir. The fruit comes from the north-west side of the hill, revealing a particularly refined expression of La Côte aux Enfants vineyard.
Bollinger is one of the rare Grande Marques that’s still family owned. Known for its rich, elegant and polished style of Champagne, their outstanding wines are the result of rigorous attention to detail and incredibly labor-intensive practices that few houses are willing to undertake. Underscoring its excellence, Bollinger has remained British secret agent James Bond's Champagne of choice since 1973.