Nicknamed “Boll” by those from Champagne and “Bolly” by the English, the timeless and legendary Bollinger Champagne House forms part of a small circle of three great Champagne houses. Bollinger champagne’s style is defined through its remarkable precision, which is brought to every moment of production. With a respect for tradition, riddling done by hand, natural corks for magnum reserve bottles and the last permanent cooper in the region, excellence has symbolised Bollinger champagne culture since its creation in Aÿ. More than just an art, it is a heritage.
Bollinger's uniqueness comes from its 174 hectares divided into seven main vineyards in Champagne, 85% of which are Grands Crus and Premiers Crus, making the house one of the few to produce its own grapes for its blends. Pinot Noir is the house's signature grape variety and represents 60% of the vineyard's vines.
It was during the 1960s that the house gave birth to the R.D. cuvée for "Récemment Dégorgée", a symbol of Bollinger's bold creativity. Designed by the illustrious Madame Bollinger, Cuvée R.D. is a vintage Extra Brut champagne aged on lees, offered for tasting just after disgorgement. Unfettered by the rules of its time, the R.D. Bollinger cuvée, by creating a unique taste, lies at the root of a revolution in the world of Champagne.
R.D. Récemment Dégorgé 2002 is made from 23 different crus, 71% of which are Grands Crus and 29% Premiers Crus.
An exceptional champagne produced exclusively during great years, Bollinger R.D. 2002 unveils the exceptional aromatic expression of its vintage in a Champagne that has taken the time to evolve while still maintaining its shine. The 2002 vintage is one of the most promising from its decade.
Winemaking and ageing
After the harvests, the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes are taken to the cellar in order to begin the custom-made winemaking process. The ageing time is particularly long, over three times longer than the appellation regulations, in order to tirelessly transform the aromas until a perfect wine alchemy is obtained. Dosage is very low, truly "Extra-Brut", with only 3 to 4 grams per litre. Bollinger R.D. 2002 is only put up for sale a few months after disgorging, giving the wine a remarkable freshness.
Pinot Noir (60%)
The 2002 R.D. Bollinger showcases a bright gold colour, with subtle sparkles.
The aromatic bouquet is complex and particularly marked by ripe and puréed fruit, more specifically quince enhanced by a touch of honey. Then, toasted and cocoa notes harmonise with aromas of star anise and nutmeg.
Bollinger R.D. 2002 embodies a great champagne with a fleshy attack. The power strikes both a perfect balance and a great persistence. This aromatic character continues into a mineral finish marked by pleasantly bitter lemon notes.
Food and wine pairing
Bollinger R.D. 2002 will truly enhance all variations of risotto, especially those which include mushrooms or are lightly truffled. This cuvée will also go wonderfully with game, old Comté and Swiss Gruyere.
Service and storage
Bollinger R.D. 2002 offers two great tasting moments. This Champagne can be tasted the year following its disgorgement in order to fully embrace its particular aromatic character and great freshness. However, Bollinger R.D. 2002 can also be savoured after several years in the cellar, where all the depth of its aromas and the remarkable character of its great ageing potential will be revealed.
For the best tasting, serve between 8 and 10 degrees C.
Big names do not help if you are not familiar with a certain house style, and so I can understand everyone who dislikes Bollinger's 2002 RD Extra Brut, which at first sight reveals a matured if not an old wine displaying toffee, floral (hyacinths, narcissus, sage), vegetal and spicy aromas (oak, cannabis, frankincense, black bread) -- but almost no fruit (at least no fresh fruit). This wine was disgorged in March 2014, but just needs a lot of time in the glass to develop its complexity. On the palate this is a very pure, fresh, lively, firmly structured and almost ascetic wine with complexity, but almost no sensuality. Very distinctive style.