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New Release Bollinger RD 2004
23 March 2018

Tasting Bollinger’s RD 2004 at its launch yesterday was a fascinating experience. We looked at differences in dosage, time in the glass and disgorgement dates across multiple vintages. The concept of Time came up repeatedly, which was hardly surprising given the nature of RD, the cuvee that Bollinger give most time sur lie to. What was most revealing was that bottles poured with a greater percentage of time under cork seemed markedly more interesting. The wines disgorged very recently were certainly fresher, but it was only with time that the complex layers of spice, baked lemon, earth, blood orange and chocolate were allowed to unfurl. Our conclusion? Contrary to the belief that RD is released ready to go, we recommend you lay your RD down for at least a couple of years post disgorgement

After full barrel fermentation 2004 RD spent 12 years sur lie, under traditional cork and staple, before disgorgement by hand. The vintage, well documented now, was generous with its yield following the frost damaged 2003s, cooler than average up until August, then blessed with fine late summer weather. Most wines have a chiselled freshness to them and the RD 2004 is no exception. At first impression the exceptional freshness is matched by striking chalk notes, but with time in the glass the typical RD spice starts to appear, followed by cooked orange peel notes and fine dark chocolate. The finish is impressively long. Dosage is just 3g/l, typical for RD, and of the three trials we tasted, this was clearly the magic number – bringing harmony and balance to RD's typically dry, serious profile.

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