RD, Extra Brut, 2004

  Bollinger

"One of my most exciting wine experiences was when I first tasted 1975 Bollinger RD with my parents at their home. During yesterday's Sunday afternoon, I served them the latest edition of 2004 blindly. The 82-year-old's reaction did not allow for a wait. Mom immediately exclaimed "the same wonderful scent of chocolate and apricot like when we drank Bollinger RD in the 80's". So right she was. When Bollinger decides to launch the newest vintage of RD, the wine must have its distinctive autolytic character of freshly baked bread, chocolate, hazelnut and mushroom. That is at least the thought. I would like to say that the last vintage in 2002 did not have these features at the launch at all, but instead relied on an almost grassy elegance and refined acid structure in an remaining youthful attire. With 2004 it is different. It's precisely like this Bollinger RD should taste from the beginning. Nobody can be disappointed here. Perhaps, 2004, is not one of the most heroic vintages but on the other hand one of the most classic. The very essence of the RD concept is to try to capture a wine's optimal maturity along with maximum freshness. Unfortunately, I do not think life expectancy is as good as in the La Grande Année version, but I may be wrong. The intensity of the mature layers of dark chocolate, tobacco, black truffles from Vaucluse and a melancholy hiking in the moist autumn forest is, at least, impressive. The mousse may struggle to reach the surface of the glycerol rich essence of wine. Nevertheless, it tingles of lust on the tongue when stringency, chalk and jingling pure acids dance over the finish line."

96 pts - Richard Juhlin

Contains Sulphites.

About Bollinger

There are seldom few who are not familiar with the Champagne house, Bollinger. Firmly positioned as a Grande Marques, Bollinger dates back to 1829, when Jacques Bollinger and Paul Renaudin began creating these exquisite and highly traditional wines. The house flourished under the leadership of Madame Lily Bollinger, who often rode her bicycle around the vineyard and was known for remarking when asked about her 1955 Vintage, “I drink it when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”

Now, her great-nephew, Ghislain de Montgolfier is at the helm. Fermentation takes place in used oak barrels and extended ageing sur lies last between 6 and 9 years prior to disgorging. Doseage is low to ensure balance and finesse, with many wines being riddled by hand, including the simply stunning Grande Annee.

Appellation: Champagne

Champagne is the world's original and most famous region for the production of sparkling wine. A range of styles are produced from the Non-Vintage, through Rose, Vintage and more recently a host of prestige, Vintage luxury cuvees. The three permitted grape varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Grape Blend: Pinot Noir | Chardonnay

Two of the classic Champagne varieties found in a wide variety of blends particularly in prestige cuvées. The Pinot Noir lends finesse and complexity while the Chardonnay provides freshness and aroma.