2008 Bollinger La Grande Annee

Year: 2008
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 97+
Vinous Media: 97
Decanter: 97
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
Price :
$119.95

THIS IS A ROCKING "BUY"!! AS GOOD AS ANY REGARDLESS OF PRICE!!

"Bollinger's 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger's oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger's new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine.

Bollinger's just-released 2008 Grande Année was unquestionably one of the highlights of my tastings for my upcoming Champagne report (to be published at the end of April 2019), and I can't recommend it warmly enough. This is the most exciting Grande Année for quite some time, the house's powerful, Pinot Noir-driven and gently oxidative style synergizing to great effect with this ripe but incisive vintage. Readers will be familiar with the rudiments of the Bollinger's winemaking-fermentation in old barrels, sur lattes maturation on natural cork and manual riddling and disgorgement-but I will be going into greater detail, as well as looking back at the house's evolution over the last few decades, in a more extensive article later this year." (WA)

"Bollinger's 2008 Grande Année is rich, ample and full-bodied, with all of the pedigree of the vintage on display. Dried pear, dried flowers, chamomile, red plum and mint develop as the 2008 shows the breadth and creaminess that are such signatures of the Bollinger house style. A whole range of brighter, more floral and chalky notes appear later, adding translucence and energy. The 2008 is 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay taken across 18 crus, and it is the Pinot that very much informs the wine in both flavor and texture. More importantly, the 2008 is one of the best Grande Années I can remember tasting. Bollinger fans won't want to miss it. Disgorged November 2018. Dosage is 8 grams per liter." (VM)

In 2008, the remarkable maturity of the grapes combined with an amazing acidity has produced a vintage of great balance, concentration and depth. The wine was aged for nine years on its lees, then for another year following disgorgement. Bright straw in colour with pinprick bubbles, it blooms on the nose with a fresh lemon leaf aroma, a sniff of strawberry and white chocolate and a candied peanut toastiness in depth. On the palate it’s silky, broad and lingering, showing a kind of bittersweet fruit profile with grapefruit and peach kernel notes, and an amazing chalky, mineral finish. It will keep well. Wait to drink it if in magnum or bigger.” (Decanter)

Winery Notes:
Winemaker Notes:
La Grande Année 2008 is from one of the most anticipated vintages since the start of the 21st century. The exceptional 2008 harvest resulted in a wine of infinite depth, concentration and freshness. It expresses its distinctiveness in this deep, complex and harmonious wine. The clear wines were very promising: the Chardonnays were pure and straight and the Pinot Noirs rich and expressive. These two grape varieties complement each other to give a blend with a rare balance. It has great aging potential.

Pairings:
Foie gras, fresh or pan-fried Grilled fish, with or without sauce, lobster Roast lamb or veal Parmesan or Comté

History:
In 1976, Bollinger Vintage became Grande Année; then, in 1997, "La" Grande Année… A name simple enough to illustrate its exceptional status: because only truly extraordinary years become vintage at Bollinger. La Grande Année made its screen débuts two years later, in James Bond’s Casino Royale.