Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Report from ... Bollinger Champagne Tasting - November 4, 2014

Today I am lucky enough to find myself at a drop in tasting at the King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto for the iconic Champagne producer Bollinger ... the wine of choice of 007.  I met with Guy de Rivoire, Commercial Director for Bollinger Champagne, who along with their agent Hanna & Sons, presented in a relaxed walk around style 3 different wines in the Bollinger line.  I got a chance to sit down with Guy at the bar and discuss Champagne and Bollinger in particular.

First wine was the Bollinger Special Cuvee ... which makes up 80% of Bollinger's production of which 86% gets exported.  Major export markets (in order) are England, Australia, USA, Sweden, Italy, Japan - Canada ranks in the top 25.  The Special Cuvee spends a minimum of 3 years on lees, though the average is 4-5 years.

Bollinger Special Cuvee ($75.00)
Lovely biscuity-breadyness, clean, fresh biscuits, bread crust,
touch of baked apple all with a complexity that makes each sip
a different, yet enjoyable, experience
(**** 1/2)
Bollinger owns 60% of the grapes that go into their wine ... 164 hectares in total: 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier.  It is a wine that has been served at Buckingham Palace since 1884.  Bollinger now uses a special bottle for their 750ml Champagne bottles, they call it "The Little Magnum":  it reduces the amount of air trapped in the bottle thus aging it slower.

The next wine tasted was the Rose, which makes up 10% of their production ...

Bollinger Rose ($100.00)
Beautiful raspberry-cranberry nose which mixes with pretty floral nuances;
hints of cherry and raspberry tickle the tongue with biscuit and
bready notes on the finish
Finally, the Bollinger R.D. 2002 which is still hand riddled and was disgorged March 13, 2014 after 11 years on lees.  The next vintage to be released in the RD line up will be the 2005.

Bollinger R.D. 2002 ($180.00)
Almond and hazelnut, stale bread crust and bruised apple
Monsieur Guy de Rivoire
Commercial Director

No comments: