Wine Spectator 93
"This is firm and tightly knit, with a backbone of steely acidity, showing a fine, creamy texture that imparts an overall sense of finesse to the layers of poached apple, mille-feuille, black currant, kumquat and honey, showing hints of ground spice and smoky mineral. Drink now through 2020. 16,000 cases imported."
Wine Advocate 92
Bollinger's NV Brut Special Cuvee is a blend of 60 Pinot Noir, 25 Chardonnay and 15 Pinot Meunier, and the grapes are mostly (more than 85) sourced in Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages. The majority of the Special Cuvee is reserve wines, part of which have been aged in magnums for five to 15 years. The disgorgement I tasted in May 2018 displays an intense golden-citrus color and has a refreshing, concentrated bouquet of citrus fruits, sweet cherries, ripe apples, white flowers, toast, walnuts, ripe apricots and peaches, with just a touch of brioche. On the palate, this is an intense, very elegant and refined cuvee with a very long, refreshing, intense, aromatic and salty finish. This is an excellent Champagne with a beautiful chalky texture in the aftertaste.
by Robert Parker, SR, 2018.
Wine Spirits 93
One of Bollingers great assets is a massive stock of reserve wine, including 600,000 magnums held under cork. Gilles Desctes tends those reserves, working with the blending team to subsume the variations of the current vintage into Bollingers Special Cuve by using a majority of reserve wines in the blend. The result is a rich and harmonious Champagne with deep reserves of flavor. Its substantial, formal structure feels polished, its flavors balancing the cool earthiness of a limestone cave and the sunnier, bright floral notes of fresh cream. Built for food, whether emphasizing the freshness with lobster bisque, or the depth with beef Wellington and chanterelles.
by Wine Spirits, W&S, 2014.
James Suckling 92
A Champagne in good form, the nose has a playful contradictory nature with complexity that comes from deep within the DNA cast against some very fresh notes - lime citrus, lime leaf, lemon, nectarine, white cherry and deeper more brambly red fruits, plus gentle spices and freshly roasted nuts, all here. The palate has supple, smooth and creamy texture with a flavorsome wrap of fleshy peach and white cherry flavor. Smooth, deep and round, acidity holds fresh right through to the fresh almond finish. Drink now or hold for up to five years.
by James Suckling, JS, 2015.
There is lovely complexity to the distinctly yeasty nose that combines high-toned green apple, pear, white flowers and gentle citrus nuances. The clean and sleek flavors are supported by a crisply firm but fine mousse where the finish is medium dry and lingering. It's not all that often that I suggest that readers cellar NV Brut but this is an example that absolutely cries out for it. I suspect that the texture will materially change for the better (i.e. become creamier) and better depth will be in the offing as well. Put it this way: this is a perfectly good Champagne right now but with 4 to 7 years of bottle age it could be first-rate and I would suggest buying it only if you're going to cellar it for at least a few years first. Note further that my rating assumes that the wine will be cellared.
"Special Cuvee is the purest expression of Champagne Bollinger's style. All the House's know-how is required in order to create, year after year, a blend that is consistent both in style and quality. It has a depth and balance, with rich and toasty aromas. The Bollinger style is very round and mature with a luxurious finish." ~Winery notes
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1829 : an adventurous aristocrat and two experts in wine.
The story began with Athanase de Villermont, the youngest son of a noble family with a brilliant destiny. A great soldier who shone during the American War of Independence, he inherited an extensive estate from his family in the Aÿ area. He immediately foresaw the extraordinary potential of the wines of Champagne, but as an aristocrat he was forbidden to become involved in trade. He then met Joseph Bollinger, a widely travelled German who had left his country of birth to learn about the Champagne wine trade, and Paul Renaudin, a local man who was fascinated by the world of wine. The firm of Renaudin-Bollinger & Cie was founded on 6th February 1829. Joseph took care of sales and Paul of the cellar. Athanase had founded a champagne House that was to endure through the centuries.