Forbes contributor Larry Olmsted has a different spin on Champagne for Valentine’s Day. Rather than compiling a round up of bottles with cheeky holiday promotions, he decided to dedicate an entire column to Champagne Bollinger and its new wine, PN VZ15. He agrees that nothing says “romance” like great Champagne – “and no Champagne House in France is quite like Bollinger,” adding that it remains one of his all time favorite wineries.
Olmsted, who has visited the House, begins with rich background on Bollinger’s rich history, association with the Royal family and – of course – its longtime affiliation as James Bond’s preferred bubbly. After firmly establishing Bollinger’s standing as an icon in the region, he tells readers about PN VZ15, Bollinger’s first new addition to the permanent range in 14 years. And for Valentine’s Day he adds it is a great choice for a “very high-end champagne and a great value” that has garnered critical acclaim from the likes of Antonio Galloni.
Explaining that Pinot Noir is Bollinger’s signature and the backbone of the House style, Olmsted adds PN VZ is a 100% pure expression of the grape and each release will highlight the same grape from a different cru. Continuing, he adds, “this first take on it focuses on Pinot Noir from Verzenay 2015 (hence PN VZ15), and also includes reserve wines dating back to 2009 for added richness. Read the full story for anecdotes about how PN VZ came to be, and the inspiration to become a little brother to Vieilles Vignes Francaises.
“It opens with rich aromas of cherry jam-infused fruit and dried fig followed by flavors of peach, apricot and hazelnut on the palate.” As for Valentine’s Day, Olmsted says this can pair wonderfully “with everything from risotto to salads to lighter red meats.”
His final note? “Whenever you drink it, if you love Champagne, you will not be disappointed.” Read the full story as he has a lot more to say HEREForbes_1.14.21-003
PN, made entirely from Pinot Noir to underscore the very essence and DNA of the House style, is the first new cuvée added to Bollinger’s permanent range since rosé in 2008. Each release of PN, developed as a series to bring Bollinger’s unique vision of Pinot Noir to light, will showcase a different cru from the base year that highlights its distinctive terroir and taste. The first edition of the series, PN VZ15, explores the interpretation of Pinot Noir from Verzenay 2015 and features reserve wines dating back to 2009.
Vieilles Vignes Françaises is one of Champagne’s most mythical cuvees, produced from miraculously preserved and ungrafted 100% Pinot Noir vines. Phylloxera destroyed the vines of Champagne in the early 20th century, but amazingly enough two of Bollinger’s classified Grands crus plots, Chaudes Terres and Clos St. Jacques, survived and are still grown the traditional way. Madame Lily Bollinger first had this wine produced in 1969 as an anniversary cuvee to commemorate her 70th birthday. Following the wine’s launch in 1974, Vieilles Vignes Françaises promptly became a collectible and a symbol of a bygone era. Over the decades, its uniqueness and scarcity have made it one of the most sought-after and expensive Champagnes.
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.