First taste: Bollinger Grande Année 2007

Champagne house Bollinger recently launched the latest vintage of their prestige cuvée, Grande Année, alongside some older vintages. Michael Edwards reports…

The Bollinger Grande Année 2007 launch happened one warm day in chilly May, a congenial moment reflecting the ripe character of this latest release. Grande Année is Bollinger’s prestige cuvée, made only in vintages worthy of the name.

It is sometimes seen as the cadet brother of R.D (‘recently disgorged’), which is a little misleading as it’s the same wine, the only difference being the time it spends on its lees; Grande Année between seven and ten years, R.D often over 20.

The 2007 launch showed three other vintages of Grande Année, between ten and 28 years old, including the lovely 1992, the forgotten beauty which was lost a little in the economic slump following the first Gulf War in 1991.

Gilles Descotes, Bollinger’s cellarmaster, also highlighted the most recent harvests, the first to show the advance of climate change – 2005, 2007 and 2011 – mercurial summers and all. The success of Grande Année 2007 owes everything to Bollinger’s wisdom in waiting for a drying wind and the return of sunshine following a wet August, picking in early September. A great result.

Michael’s Bollinger Grande Année tasting notes:

A fresh hue, with gold highlights signalling lovely ripeness. Almond scents with peach and mango. On the palate…

This wine shows what larger formats, in this case magnum, can bring, with complex fruit confit flavours of peche des vignes and…

Radiant, star-bright ruby with vermilion highlights. Burgundian scents of the forest, with fraises des bois, undergrowth and even…

A subtly translucent lemon colour speaks of purity, and so it is on nose and palate. Filigreed bubbles are still constant. White flowers and…

The product of a heatwave vintage, with maturity at 12% plus, exceptional at the time. Much more Chardonnay than usual to…


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