2012 Bollinger La Grande Annee

Year: 2012
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 94
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
Price :
$119.95

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

"Disgorged in July 2019, Bollinger's 2012 Brut La Grande Année is showing well, offering up an incipiently complex bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh peach, orange oil, toasted walnuts and dried apricot that's still quite reserved with less than a year on cork. Full-bodied, deep and muscular, the 2012 is blockier and broader-shouldered than its 2008 predecessor, with a weightier and even more concentrated palate built around a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a chalky finish that carries appreciably dry extract. This isn't quite as elegant as the exquisite 2008, but it is a superb effort and obviously built to age." (WA)

"The 2012 Grande Année is vibrant and wonderfully nuanced. Citrus peel, orchard fruit, brioche, dried flowers and chamomile are all finely knit in a Grand Année built on energy and persistence more than size. Readers will find a restrained Grand Année in 2012. There is plenty of the textural richness that is such a signature of the house style, but I am also struck by the wine's freshness. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well right out of the gate. It is quite expressive today, even in the early going." (VM)

Winery Notes:
Bollinger is an icon in Champagne, all the more remarkable because its reputation rests entirely on the quality of its extraordinarily distinct Champagnes. Very simply, Bollinger is the outlier. The rigorous, obsessive attention to detail and preservation of artisanal, almost absurdly labor-intensive practices, makes Bollinger both a guardian of the past and, as we see with each passing year, the beacon of the future. Grande Année is the embodiment of everything that makes Bollinger the producer that stands apart in Champagne. La Grande Année symbolizes the word “hand-crafted” so strongly that an overused word suddenly becomes the appropriate definition. This Champagne is only produced in the most outstanding of vintages, where ripeness and acidity reach a perfect balance and aging potential is excellent.

VINEYARD:
The fruit is sourced from 18 different Crus-the majority of the Pinot Noir comes from Aÿ and Verzenay, and the Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry. Farming: Sustainable wine growing by grassing over the ground, using biological pest control, reducing the use of herbicides, recycling pruning waste and planting hedges and orchards to encourage biodiversity.

WINEMAKING:
Variety: 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay

Fermentation:
All wine is vinified in small neutral barrique. Bollinger is the only remaining Champagne producer with a cooper on staff who repairs in excess of 300 barrels per year. Aging: Cellar aged for more than twice the time required by the appellation. Second fermentation takes place for more than 8 years on the lees in bottles with natural corks. Riddling and disgorging are performed entirely by hand. Dosage: 8 g/L

VINTAGE:
After an unexpectedly gloomy summer which left countless vineyards destroyed from frost and hail damage, the weather made a drastic change for the better, with steadily warm temperatures in August and September. During harvest, temperatures cooled, yielding grapes with perfectly preserved acidity and ripeness. Although yields were far lower than usual, the fruit harvested had exemplary structure, with especially outstanding Pinot Noir across the region.