Nose of honey on toast, wet shale, sliced apple and a touch of lemon and mango, same on the palate, well balanced with good acid, touch simple, very tasty just the same, medium body, and a medium/long finish.
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(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Lot 835105. A golden hue and still a very fine and exuberant bead here. The nose has evolved beautifully, with honey-tinged, creamy white fruits overlaid with crushed cashew nuts, and as the wine opens up notes of acacia and white peach sprinkled with essence of brioche as well. This has a very fine energy on the palate, polished and weighty, with a crunchy edge to the wine's golden fruit. Nicely defined in the finish. Long too. On the whole, this is delicious.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Lot 116109. Although not long disgorged this wine has quite a rich golden hue. There is a fairly plentiful bead, although with reasonably fine bubbles at its heart. Golden fruit, toasty and nutty on the nose, fresh, crunchy and incisive though. A very typical character on the palate, robust fruit, a very oxidative style, quite firmly composed, full and with bold nutty fruit and even a tinge of caramel. This is remarkably evolved in termas of aroma and flavour for such a recent disgorgement, but the incisive and vigorous lift it has will settle for this wine's benefit. Very appealing.
(NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut) Light medium gold color with steady stream of tiny bubbles; rich apple, baked apple, poached pear nose; poached pear, baked apple palate with good acidity; medium finish 90+ points
(NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut) Light yellow with pinpoint bubbles; reticent, tart lemon, tart pear nose; tight, tart pear, apple, mineral palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Current release. This has a lovely character on the nose, so obviously reflecting the Bollinger style. There are notes of Brazil nut and papery fruit, rounded and expressing a presence yet also suggesting a well-reined in style. But it has a crunchy definition. And that's just how it comes across on the palate, showing here an exuberant and youthful mousse with a broad, polished and harmonious style. This seems still rather eager to please at present but all the necessary promise is here. Leave for a year or two and it should be delicious.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Lot number L002601 (printed on the neck foil). This wine is a blend of 45% 2004, 45% 2005 and 10% reserve wines. Disgorged September 2009. The nose is clean, rather reserved, showing gently polished fruit. Good structure to the palate, with a stylish definition around some good substance. A crisp mousse, fine, and good balance overall. Very good. The Special Cuvée really is an excellent buy these days.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) One of several bottles tasted during this trip. This particular cuvée is a blend of 2005 and 2004 vintages (the 2004 stored in steel) in roughly equal proportions, in total accounting for 90% of the wine, with 10% reserve wines (stored in magnums under cork). Overall the blend is 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier. Some of the two base vintages saw fermentation in oak, as is usually the case. Disgorgement in early 2009. The nose seems mature, evolved and elegant, with notes of honeyed, polished wood; the reserve wines are in evidence here I think. An elegant palate, a fine mousse, broad but firm too. Overall this has a finer, more delineated composition than I recall from tastings of previous incarnations of this cuvée. Very good, and it seems ready now.
(NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut) This Pinot Noir-dominated blend undergoes its first fermentation in small oak barrels with an average age of 30 years—a technique believed to produce a more expressive, terroir-driven wine with longer aging potential due to its early oxidation. Straw-yellow in color, it’s a bold, earthy Champagne with aromas of toasted barley, chalk, and seashell. On the palate, it is medium-to-full-bodied, with a fine mousse and flavors of eggshell, cream, lemon, and tar. The floral finish picks up notes of rose and violet. The Shifting Landscape of Champagne
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Purchased Summer 2005. A maturing, nutty, bacon and mushroom nose. A fresh palate, lively, firm and with a delicate mousse. It has bright, pervasive and incisive acidity, providing a lovely frame for the elegant, cottony texture. It develops a little grip towards the finish which persists nicely. Overall it has a lovely, winey, supple and sappy presence on the palate, with a firm, peppery finish with nutty nuances. Rather short finish, but all the pleasure is here.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Current release. An appealing nose, woody-oily character, finely polished with notes of dried fruits. Full but with a bright mousse on the palate, and a fine acidic backbone. This is very nicely composed, with a firm, structured finish. Typically Bollinger, yet perhaps a touch more accessible than I would usually expect. Very good.
(NV Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvée Brut) Bright golden yellow color; intriguing floral and elegant citrus nose; not focused but good complexity on palate with minerals, toast and good Chardonnay; medium finish
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) A tasting of the latest release of the NV cuvée. This has a rather typical nose for Bollinger, of oiled wood and the mature note of oak fermented reserve wines. Full, dry, somewhat organic in character, with citrus orange notes through the midpalate. It is big and rich, a full bodied style, a touch oaky, with a fading mousse on the palate. Good acidity. Very good.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) A pale golden hue, with a fairly fine bead. Sweet biscuit notes on the nose, reflecting the Pinot-dominated (60% PN and 15% PM) assemblage, with evident complexity from the reserve wines. This is always the case with the Special Cuvée, as although the reserve wines account for less than 10% of the blend they include wines up to fifteen years of age. Full, biscuit and apple character with oak tones through the midpalate. Fresh, with a firm mousse. This is a fairly complex, mouth-filling non-vintage cuvée, this bottling showing particularly well. Very good indeed.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Purchased Spring 2002; approaching three years further cellar age. Pale hue. Very fine bead indeed. Evolved nose, with coffee and caramel, honey and coconut macaroons. Fresh, with a very gentle, sparkling, pétillant mousse. Quite light, no great impact or body, but with some nice bitter coffee notes. Plenty of interest here. Just gone over peak I think, and my last bottle (I think).
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Purchased Spring 2002; two years further bottle age. A pale gold hue and a sparse, small bead. Typical Bollinger on the nose, with a buttercream richness wrapped around white fruits. Despite the cellar time this still has firm structure and acidity and plenty of primary fruit flavours, although with air it does reveal more mature aromas of coffee and caramel - most likely signs of development from the Chardonnay. A firm, slightly foamy mousse. Will improve further and I think I might have another bottle or two buried somewhere.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Purchased Spring 2002; twelve months further bottle age. A lemon-gold hue. Very typical Bollinger on the nose, which has rich, meaty, marzipan aromas, with nuances of toffee and yeast autolysis. The palate is lovely, quite classic yet also rich and structured. More nutty, almond aromas, carried by good acidity and structure. It's showing some characteristics of maturity on the palate, but the wine would still benefit from a year or two more in the cellar. Classic Bollinger. This non-vintage Champagne is a mini Grand Année if I ever tasted one. Definite development even over just a few months. Assessed in
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Purchased Spring 2002; nine months further bottle age. Slow to open on the nose, initially giving just some lemony white fruits and a few autolytic notes. With time there is more subtle coffee and toffee aromas. Similar nuances on the palate, but still surprisingly tight and with good acidity. Having already spent almost a year in the cellar, this wine is in need of more time. Who says NV cuvées are sold ready to drink?
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) A tasting of the cuvée on the market at the time. More yeast is evident on the nose than I recall from previous cuvées. Nevertheless, a more typical combination of fresh apple yeast flavours are evident on the palate, with good lemony acidity. A toast and biscuit edge develops. Soft and creamy mousse. A good, clean NV wine.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) A tasting of the NV cuvée on the market at the time; possibly the same wine as above. A creamy, yeasty nose. A soft mousse which doesn't fade, with a good balance of fruit and lemony acidity.
(NV Bollinger Special Cuvée) Purchased Summer 2000; six months further bottle age. Quite a rich colour, and a fine bead. Aromas of Bramley Apples fill the room on popping the cork. In the glass it has a rich, heady, leesy nose, with a touch of lemon curd. Likewise leesy and lemony on the palate, with a soft but persistent mousse which has a creamy edge. Balanced, fresh acidity. Good finish.
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