The Daily Herald‘s wine columnist, Mary Ross, offers her Chicago-based readers a great overview of what goes into crafting a true Champagne, based on the strict governing of vineyard and winery practices, as a way to underscore how special these wines truly are. She then focuses majority of her story on Champagne Bollinger, discussing the House’s incomparable quality standards, approach to winemaking and expressions within the range. She explains how Bollinger stands out from other producers with their undeniably complex, powerful wines by relying on fruit from “their family-owned estate, comprised of top-ranked Grand and Premier Cru vineyards, with qualities of soil and climate expressed best by the most demanding grape, Pinot Noir.” Bollinger Deputy Chef de Cave Denis Bunner elaborates on Ross’ statement on what makes Bollinger so unique, adding as a reference to their stock of 3,500 aged casks, “Bollinger gives wine air by fermenting in wood (not steel tanks), one of only two houses to do so. After primary fermentation, Bollinger’s wine rests on lees for twice the regional requirement, sometimes much more. A portion of the best wines are reserved in a cellar of 700,000 magnums, to be blended into multi-vintage wines for richness and texture.” ‘He adds “There are places of the cellar even we don’t go to. Madame Bollinger once returned with a magnum from 1830.” The story then focuses on one of the best examples of these aged wines with R.D. – discussing a tasting of 1996 and the new 2004 release this fall. This is an extremely rich article worth reading in full, which can be found here:
A small revolution in the world of Champagne. In 1967, Bollinger releases R.D. 1952. There is no comparable Champagne on the market at the time. This bold and brilliant Champagne takes the pillars of what makes Champagne Bollinger so unique, and pushes them to their ultimate level. It is, very simply, a masterpiece.
Bollinger is one of the rare Grande Marques that’s still family owned. Known for its rich, elegant and polished style of Champagne, their outstanding wines are the result of rigorous attention to detail and incredibly labor-intensive practices that few houses are willing to undertake. Underscoring its excellence, Bollinger has remained British secret agent James Bond's Champagne of choice since 1973.