2004 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Wine & Spirits
Barrel fermentation gives this wine ornate complexity, while its crisp structural lines make it feel very contemporary French. The plump red fruit races with dynamism, extending the suppleness of the texture into more dramatic territory than where Champagne often ventures, and lasts with a gentler, floral grace. A youthful ten-year-old wine, this is built for long development in the cellar.
*A Top 100 Cellar Selection of 2013* A blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, this is opulent and full bodied, with toast and wood flavors. Rich and ripe, this beautiful wine is generous and still young, with just a touch of bitterness at the end.
Bollinger's 2004 Brut La Grand Année is a beautiful wine with a lot of vintage character, but the style is a bit less oxidative than Bollinger fans are likely to expect. Pears, hazelnuts, spices and crushed rocks all flow through to the tense, vibrant finish. It will be interesting to see if the 2004 puts on weight in the bottle, as so many wines from this vintage have. Today, it is bright, linear and quite pretty. Green apples, pears and flowers all add lift on the close. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(disgorged January, 2013): Light, bright gold. Powerful orchard and pit fruit aromas are complemented by smoky lees, iodine, chamomile and buttered toast. At once fleshy and energetic, offering deeply pitched poached pear, peach pit and brioche flavors and a suave floral element. Finishes smoky and very long, with mounting spiciness and lingering floral and vanilla notes. (JR)
*Collectibles* Firm, with well-cut acidity and a fine texture, this is aromatic, delivering a skein of ground spice and graphite notes that mesh seamlessly with the flavors of black currant, black cherry, toasted almond, financier, honey and smoky mineral. Offers a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2024. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.
Allen Meadows - Burghound
*Outstanding* This is cool, refined and wonderfully complex with that moderately aged yeasty character that contrasts nicely with the beautifully fresh citrus, green apple and soft floral scents. The bead of the supporting mousse is quite fine but like the 2002 R.D. it's firm and imparts plenty of punch to the precise middle weight flavors that possess the same complexity and refinement that is displayed by the nose, all wrapped in a crisp and dry but not particularly austere finish. This is terrific and while it could easily be enjoyed now I would be inclined to hold it for another 2 to 4 years first as it clearly seems to be on the way up; indeed the last sip was more interesting than the first.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
...a bottling that, in marrying the restraint associated with young wines from this house with that of a relatively cool and copious but ultimately fascinating vintage, has rendered a work of subtle intrigue and refinement that will merit a dozen or more years’ attention. Quite pale in color and with unexpectedly green-gold shimmering, this two-thirds Pinot Noir cuvee displays alluringly silken texture and refinement of mousse as well as delicacy. Fresh white peach, yellow tomato, lime, and rhubarb offer subtly tart, brightly juicy succulence, and a mingling of chalk and sweet-saline oyster liquor serves for saliva-inducement in a long finish tinged with lightly toasted grains and nuts. (DS)
Really interesting, complex nose with lots of age and development and polished autumn-leaf characters. Fascinating wine that is probably too interesting to throw back at a reception. Complete and compelling. (18/20 points)
This wine is composed of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, vinified entirely in barrels at Bollinger in Ay. It has been aged for more than six years on the lees in its bottle, and on cork rather than on crown cap. They selected 16 villages for this blend, all from their own estate and the final product is 88% Grand Cru and 12% Premier Cru. This has excellent freshness as well as Bollinger's traditional richness and should keep for decades. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)