Bollinger La Grande Annee 2008
It is with great excitement that we bring you the new release from Champagne Bollinger – the fabulous and long-awaited LaGrande Année 2008. Thanks to our fantastic relationship with the House, we have secured a prime allocation; and having tasted the wine last week, we can confirm that it is a sure-fire winner. Loaded with all the classically rich, toasty notes you have come to love in La Grande Annee, it also sports the depth, intensity and energetic vibrancy which is rapidly becoming the hallmark of the outstanding 2008 vintage. Top Champagne critic Richard Juhlin loved it, delivering a huge 98 point score and recommend to “Buy a case and follow its aromatic journey to heaven.”
Bollinger’s La Grande Année has long been ‘up there’ with the very finest prestige cuvees but at a fraction of the price. Most of the other 2008 top-end Champagne Cuvees on the market already trade for around twice its price! This becomes even more bewildering when you consider the complexity and cost of the production process: fully barrel fermented (in 4-5 year old barrels), aged en magnum under cork (something which virtually no other producer can boast) and still riddled by hand, this is a truly artisan product. In fact it is estimated that each bottle is touched around 40 times during the production process – something more likely to be seen in boutique, grower-Champagne methodology.
The 2008 is a gorgeous blend of 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay: 90% of the fruit is from Grand Cru vineyards (and the remainder from Premier Crus) - mainly Ay and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant for the Chardonnay. The outcome is spectacular already but will be incredibly long-lived to boot.
As we know, Champagne has a winning combination of very rapid consumption of the current release and highly effective global distribution; these factors cause a fast-dwindling supply and, as the wine continues to mature and gain more complexity, its desirability increases. The relative prices of previous vintages show how this manifests:
Bollinger LGA 2008 – 98pts RJ – £800
Bollinger LGA 2002 – 96pts RJ – £1000
Bollinger LGA 1996 – 96pts RJ - £1620
Bollinger LGA 1990 – 93pts RJ - £2760
Bollinger LGA 1985 – 96pts RJ - £3300
Beyond all of this, however, the fact remains that La Grande Annee is one of the most impressive and downright drinkable Champagnes on the market today – and offered at a considerably more friendly price than many comparable wines. We are therefore delighted to offer:
- Sold Out!
Tasting Notes and Scores
This is a regal and heroic Bollinger characterized by restrained power and energetic energy. I love meeting this untouched force and carefully analyzing its sublime elements, but at the same time I have to admit that we are dealing with a real "vin de garde" that will not reach its maximum capacity before its 25th birthday. The structure is impressive, based of course on the high acidity of the vintage in the first place. This very high acid means that the other building blocks can appear as subordinate,but they have a great wealth of both oak embossed secondary aromas and flaunted dark fruit. At present, the aromatic spectrum is characterized by fresh hazelnuts from Piedmont, green apples, critical minerals and perfumed orange blossoms. Buy a case and follow its aromatic journey to heaven.