A small revolution in the world of Champagne. In 1967, Bollinger releases R.D. 1952. There is no comparable Champagne on the market at the time. This bold and brilliant Champagne takes the pillars of what makes Champagne Bollinger so unique, and pushes them to their ultimate level. It is, very simply, a masterpiece.
The majority of Champagne Houses have always kept a collection of old wines in order to share with their family, close friends and special guests. The custom was that these old wines were especially disgorged only a very short time before being tasted, so that those invited could share a perfect moment when the wine, disgorged just recently, would offer an extraordinary freshness and sumptuous aromatic expression. This is the boldness of both R.D. and Madame Bollinger who, realizing the greatness of these wines, was the first to want to commercialize them in order to offer the entire world the chance to experience this tasting moment, considered at the time as “the ultimate in French Champagne.” At Bollinger, this exceptional cuvée would be called R.D. for “Recently Disgorged,” and its labels would be the first in history to bear a disgorgement date.
Since 1952, a portion of La Grande Année has been kept in the cellars and disgorged at a later date, after much longer time (about 8-20 years) on the lees. It is released as Extra Brut, with only 3-4 grams of residual sugar per liter. It is bold and powerful but well-balanced, revealing a beautifully aromatic potential and an extraordinary brilliance.
R.D. 2002 is sourced from a total of 23 crus, 71% of which are Grand Cru and 29% of which are Premier Cru.
R.D. is based on La Grande Année 2002, but is disgorged at a much later date. This bottle is from the final disgorgement of R.D. 2002 in May 2017, representing nearly 13 years on the lees. It is released as Extra Brut, with only 3 grams of residual sugar per liter. As result of the long maturation, more than three times longer than required by the appellation, R.D. offers an infinite array of flavors: a true wine alchemy.
The 2002 is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Very powerful but well-balanced, with honey and quince aromas and a steely, minerally finish.
Only the very best among vintage Champagnes become R.D. The Bollinger R.D. 2002 is definitely one of the most promising vintages of the last decade.
“Abundant stewed and candied fruits on the nose, accompanied by touches of sweet spice. With time, roasted notes and cocoa give way to flavors of star anise and nutmeg. This wine offers a full-bodied attack. It is powerful but well-balanced, with persistent flavor and a finish that offers minerality and a touch of lemon. It marries perfectly with the most refined dishes, such as pigeon or roasted scallops, and intensity makes it the perfect partner for an aged Comté.” – Gilles Descôtes, Cellar Master
Sometimes you come across a match that brings together complexity of flavors, textures and even stories in a memorable way to create the ultimate pairing.
The 13+ years that Bollinger R.D. 2002 spent aging on the lees results in an extraordinary range of primary, secondary and tertiary characteristics that come in a frame of almost unimaginable tension of developed richness and freshness.
In their quest to find the best way to serve Bollinger R.D. at the estate, the food-obsessed team at Bollinger came to the conclusion that aged Comté, when at the very highest level, offers extraordinary pleasure and an array of both complementary and supplementary flavors and textures to R.D. In fact, Bollinger developed a relationship with Bernard Antony, considered by many as the greatest affineur of cheese in France, to source the very finest aged Comté in the world.
In addition to aged Comté, R.D. 2002 pairs well with all types of risotto, especially mushrooms or truffle risotto. It also stands up to venison quite well.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
Champagne Bollinger supports sustainable wine growing by grassing over the ground, using biological pest control, reducing the use of herbicides, recycling pruning waste, and planting hedges and orchards to encourage biodiversity. The Côte aux Enfants vineyard is managed organically.
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Vieilles Vignes Françaises is one of Champagne’s most mythical cuvees, produced from miraculously preserved and ungrafted 100% Pinot Noir vines. Phylloxera destroyed the vines of Champagne in the early 20th century, but amazingly enough two of Bollinger’s classified Grands crus plots, Chaudes Terres and Clos St. Jacques, survived and are still grown the traditional way. Madame Lily Bollinger first had this wine produced in 1969 as an anniversary cuvee to commemorate her 70th birthday. Following the wine’s launch in 1974, Vieilles Vignes Françaises promptly became a collectible and a symbol of a bygone era. Over the decades, its uniqueness and scarcity have made it one of the most sought-after and expensive Champagnes.