Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne

SKU #100041 93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 *Outstanding* There is lovely complexity to the distinctly yeasty nose that combines high-toned green apple, pear, white flowers and gentle citrus nuances. The clean and sleek flavors are supported by a crisply firm but fine mousse where the finish is medium dry and lingering. It's not all that often that I suggest that readers cellar NV Brut but this is an example that absolutely cries out for it. I suspect that the texture will materially change for the better (i.e. become creamier) and better depth will be in the offing as well. Put it this way: this is a perfectly good Champagne right now but with 4 to 7 years of bottle age it could be first-rate and I would suggest buying it only if you're going to cellar it for at least a few years first. Note further that my rating assumes that the wine will be cellared.  (1/2015)

93 points James Suckling

 Impressive concentration, freshness and purity here. It's all gently enriched with some savory, autolysis-driven characters. Truly a modern classic! Showing attractive spiced-apple, lemon and pink rose-like florals on the palate, this flows nicely into white-cherry territory with grilled hazelnuts and a core of sorbet-like fleshy peaches and lemons. Great balance. Drink now.  (10/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Vibrant and well-knit, this layers a refined texture and mouthwatering acidity with a rich profile of dried white cherry, raw almond, mandarin orange peel and smoke-tinged minerality. Finely knit and focused, presenting a creamy, spiced finish. Drink now through 2020. (AN)  (11/2016)

90 points Vinous

 Pale yellow. Toasty aromas of apple and pear nectar are complemented by hints of toffee, honey and orange zest. Full and expansive on the palate, offering ripe orchard and pit fruit flavors and an undercurrent of smoky minerals and buttered toast. Smooth and gently spicy on the clinging, nicely focused finish. (JR)  (1/2015)

Wine & Spirits

 Generously enriched by reserve wines, Bollinger’s current release of Special Cuvée is broad and earthy, with a mushroomy undertone to its flavors. A structured, pinot noir–dominant Champagne to serve with steak tartare.  (12/2016)

K&L Notes

A Pinot Noir-dominated blend that always includes a generous proportion of reserve wines. The biggest and boldest of the big house non-vintages, this is still made from mostly estate fruit. All of the reserve wines are aged in magnums under natural cork, and a large percentage of the fruit is still barrel fermented. In an age where a lot of the big houses are concentrating more on marketing and less on the product, Bollinger continues their tradition of quality. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/18/2015 | Send Email
Beyond the fact that this is 007 prefered glass of fizz...I must admit I love Bollinger. It is unashamedly a rich style, barrel fermented, round, toasty, packed full of Pinot Noirs red fruited richness. The wine contains 40% older reserve wines and it shows in the wines depth and persistence on the palate. 3-4 years on the lees gives a lovely autolytic presence to the wine along with a lick of oak barrel spice that lingers long in the finish. I can see why Mr. Bond is partial to this...it's powerful and sophisticated.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/15/2015 | Send Email
Do I really have to encourage you to buy this? Wow... one of the few barrel fermented Champagnes left. So good, focus, texture, etc., etc. Damn, that's good.
Drink from 2015 to 2020

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/2/2015 | Send Email
Bollinger has a sterling reputation in Champagne for stalwart quality for a great reason. They do the hard work to make great Champagne, and there Special Cuvee is the standard barer for their range. Along with Krug, Bollinger is the only grand marque to refuse to give up their barrels, which they still ferment the wine in to this day. They are located in the village of Ay, famous for being the chalkiest terroir for Pinot Noir in all of Champagne, and Ay is the soul of this blend. It is one of the fullest, most powerful non-vintages from the grand marques, and also one of the driest. If you are a fan of Champagne and haven't tried this classic, you should!

By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/20/2008 | Send Email
A pinot noir-dominated blend that immediately after opening, has a distinctive leesy, slightly oxidated nose. This is no doubt from the reserve wines that are fermented in oak barrel and then aged in magnums under low pressure. This also lends to the full-bodied, richness of the wine. After several minutes of aeration, the sweet smell of ripe, sun-soaked apples begin to emerge. The predominance of estate fruit (approximately 70% of the assemblage) lends to the broad, rich and intense flavors. Fresh and toasty on the palate with a slight touch of hazelnut, the Special Cuvee has a long finish with a hint of exotic spice at the very end.

By: Brian Koenig | Review Date: 1/12/2011
On the nose, Bollinger is instantly recognizable as having a different character than NV Clicquot or Ferrer Blanc de Noirs, even to casual champagne drinkers. Nicely layered flavors of apple and toast. Tastes "older" than most NV cuvees but no disgorgement date means I have no idea how long my particular wine was in the bottle. Definitely delicious, although the finish is a bit more abrupt and toasty than I personally prefer. Not a tasting note per se, but the packaging and presentation of Bollinger is very classy, and oozes quality for the $$. Recommended.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Other White Wines

Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Champagne

- The French region of Champagne (comprised of the towns of Rheims, Epernay, and Ay) was the first region in the world to make sparkling wine in any quantity. Today, the name of the region is synonymous with the finest of all sparkling wines, and winemaking traditions of Champagne have become role models for sparkling wine producers, worldwide. Surprisingly, the region of Champagne is now responsible for only one bottle in 12 of all sparkling wine produced. Styles of champagne range from the basic brut (often blends of several vintages), single vintage champagnes, and rose. View our bestselling Champagne.
Alcohol Content (%): 12