"Dry cocoa, hazelnut fudge, dried apricots and juicy red apples dominate over sous bois and mushrooms"
Champagne Club, 95 points
Established in Ay in 1829, Bollinger is without doubt one of the top names in Champagne. It remains a family company and is run by a great-grandson of founder Ghislain de Montgolfier. Winemaker is Alsace born Mathieu Kauffmann, known for his muscular style of Champagnes. 71% of the grapes come from Grand Cru vineyards and the rest from Premier Cru. Crucially, the wine is barrel fermented, an expensive process adding considerably to the depth and complexity of flavour. Not only are bottles turned by hand, they are disgorged (the removal of yeast sediment) manually as well. Thus La Grande Année is as much a work of art as a tribute to winemaking science. Creamy, concentrated and complex, this Champagne is ready now, but will also cellar well.