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CHAMPAGNE BOLLINGER

18 July 2016 News

Jancis Robinson revisits several 1996 Champagnes from Bollinger – see below for her notes from the tasting!

“And the weekend before last at a private dinner, for instance, I tasted two bottles of Bollinger Grande Année 1996 from the same case. The first was served blind and I guessed it was at least 10 years older, probably more. It was barely fizzy and had a severe shortage of fruit – the common fault in 1996s that have not aged gracefully. But a second bottle was much, much fresher and zestier, even though it still finished a little dry. My tasting note ended ‘better than some of the most austere 1996s but not glorious’. (This sort of bottle variation is, alas, all too common in wines both still and sparkling. The reason could be a difference in cork quality, or in how each bottle was stored before being packed in the case.)

On the other hand, BI’s tasting included a magnum of Bollinger 1996 disgorged (separated from the sediment of the second fermentation in bottle) much more recently than these standard-release Bollinger 1996s would have been disgorged. This Bollinger RD 1996, RD standing for recently disgorged, was not disgorged until September 2013 and is sold at a premium (£540 a magnum in bond from BI). This was a much more intense and glorious wine whose density seemed better able to compensate for all that acidity than the earlier-disgorged examples.

Bollinger, RD Extra Brut 1996
£540 a magnum in bond from BI”

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