Bollinger La Grande Année 2008 - When Great is Truly Magnificent

Bollinger La Grande Année 2008 - When Great is Truly Magnificent

Bollinger La Grande Année 2008
Left Conatiner

Just when you thought you’d tasted the pinnacle expression of great Champagne, with last year’s release of Bollinger’s exquisite RD 2004, this family owned house, which was established in 1829, pulls another masterpiece out of its limestone tunnelled cellars for the World to experience. Bollinger La Grande Année 2008 was released globally on 1st May 2019 and it seems that those lucky enough to have had a sneak, pre-release preview of the wine cannot bestow enough superlatives on it.

For not only is 2008 widely viewed as the greatest Champagne vintage of the 21st century so far, it is also the year in which all of Bollinger’s 190 years of knowledge, experience and pedigree combine to deliver a wine of stellar quality and finesse. Although already more than a decade old on release, those in the know are stating that La Grande Année 2008 won’t start to exude the full spectrum of its magical, heady powers until 2025 and beyond. The conclusion here is that lovers of great Champagne and certainly Bollinger’s Pinot Noir dominant style, should buy a case or two now and follow the wine on its journey, for many years to come.

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Here are a few of the early reviews:

Very expressive bouquet, enticing and intriguing. Alive, youthful and vibrant with aromas of tangerine and lemon, quince and apple. A bold, fresh, nutty autolysis scent adds complexity and depth. On the palate these ideas come alive mixed inside a plump, refreshing and creamy mousse. Honeysuckle and soft aromatic spices, lemon and grapefruit, wild strawberry and a deepening autolysis as the wine warms in glass. Gentle mealy texture and long harmonious finish.”
Cameron Douglas MS, 96 Points

This is a regal and heroic Bollinger characterized by restrained power and energetic energy. I love meeting this untouched force and carefully analysing 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 box and follow its aromatic journey to heaven.”
Richard Juhlin, 98pts

“Pale straw in colour with a vibrant mousse. Highly perfumed on the nose with intense floral notes and fresh brioche. A hint of smoked almond and an attractive spiciness. Melon and citrus fruits. Wonderful concentration and complexity. Classic Bollinger in a big, robust Pinot Noir predominant style. This wine has incredible richness but with an impressive steely cut in fresh citric acidity and magnificent structure. Great tension between ripe and opulent stone fruits and zesty minerality. Opulent, intense and complex; this is a fabulous Bollinger which is irresistible already but also has superb potential to age. Possibly the best 2008 release which we have tasted so far and the best young Bollinger Grande Année that any of us can remember. Highly recommended. 71% Pinot Noir & 29% Chardonnay. Disgorged April 2008.”
Farr Vintners, Farr Tasting, March 2019 – Score: 19

“There are certain vintages in which a wine’s intrinsic expression just works: everything clicks. Sometimes I feel Grande Année does not hit the heights of its peers, but in 2008 this is not the case – it excels. Here the rich, autolytic, Pinot Noir style of Bollinger exists in dreamy harmony with the fresh, high-acid nature of the vintage. The nose is expressive and concentrated, with toasted almond and vanilla notes alongside an underlying tautness/freshness aided by zesty citrus peel, some spice and a herbal edge. The palate does not disappoint – this is where the “Grande” in Grande Année comes from. Power, weight and texture combine, building to a long, clean, refreshing finish. Obviously, this can be enjoyed now; however, it cries out for further cellaring so this wine can express itself even more fully. Sheer class.”
 Drink 2022- 2032+ Berry Brothers & Rudd

As with past La Grande Année Champagnes, the 2008 will more than hold its own through a five or six course lunch or dinner. Earlier this year, Bollinger’s cellarmaster Gilles Descôtes, took off on a tour of France, to visit the artisan producers of some of the finest produce available… think seafood, jambon noir, truffle, to name a few, seeking out perfect pairings, worthy of this special Champagne. Here is a video of his journey:

Then on 25th & 26th March, wine writers, sommeliers and special guests, including New Zealand’s very own Cameron Douglas MS, were flown into Bollinger HQ, in the sleepy village of Aÿ en Champagne, to participate in Le Grand Déjeuner. There, the guests were able to taste multiple back vintages of La Grande Année and consider the various food pairings that Gilles Descôtes had discovered on his very own gastronomic “Le Grand Tour de France”, as ideal matches for the 2008.

To celebrate the release of Bollinger La Grande Année 2008 in New Zealand, Negociants New Zealand held Le Grand Dîner d’Auckland on Wednesday evening 22nd May 2019 and Le Grand Dîner d’Wellington on Thursday 23rd May 2019. The events were hosted by Guy de Rivoire, Global Export Manager for Champagne Bollinger and Clive Weston, Managing Director for Negociants New Zealand. Champagne Bollinger connoisseurs, influencers, media and local members of Club 1829, lucky enough to obtain tickets, were treated to four courses matched to Bollinger La Grande Année 2008. The feedback was unanimous that this is a truly magnificent Champagne, which matched perfectly to the food served.

Negociants New Zealand has proudly been the exclusive national importer and distributor for Champagne Bollinger for over thirty years. Our excitement and anticipation levels have been piqued further still, at the prospects of New Zealand’s Fine Wine Trade and discerning consumers having the opportunity to indulge in La Grande Année 2008, the personification of greatness and magnificence in Champagne.