2002 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Wine & Spirits
There is Champagne, and then there is 2002 Bollinger. This wine makes me dizzy, stammering in cross-eyed bliss. Taking a step back, the sustained chord of flavor comes into focus, revealing a limestone honey: scents of acacia, marzipan, apricot and golden citrus. Jamal Rayyis, one of our tasters with the broadest flavor library in his head, described the scent as loomi (dried lime) and dried apricot, as if walking into a Middle Eastern market. Flavor details aside, the wine’s richness softens the structural grandeur of the vintage, which is buoyed in a mineral bath of power. This will reward another ten or 20 years of age, and the bottles that remain will likely only feed the wine’s legend.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2002 Brut La Grande Annee is marvelous. The 2002 is an understated Grande Annee that caresses the palate with layers of effortless, weightless fruit. The mousse is exceptionally fine, which adds to the impression of total elegance. This is a relatively bright, floral Grande Annee with plenty of aromatic lift, inner perfume and no sense of heaviness at all. A rich, creamy finish adds the final note of complexity and pedigree. The 2002 is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, 71% from Grand Cru villages and 29% from Premier Crus. Disgorged February 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(60% pint noir and 40% chardonnay; 71% of the fruit is from grand cru sites and rest from premier crus; disgorged February, 2011): Light gold. Ripe pear and honey on the explosively perfumed nose, with sexy floral and marzipan nuances expanding with air. Fat, full and palate-coating, boasting impressive power and thrust. Shows an intriguing blend of richness and energy and finishes long, with smoky and spicy nuances.
*Highly Recommended* Ripe, appealing flavors of peach, Gala apple, toast and blood orange mix with a streak of minerality, racy acidity and spice notes, all set on the fine-grained texture. Fresh and focused, with a long, mouthwatering, nut-tinged finish. Drink now through 2025.
60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay exclusively from the grands and premiers crus vineyards in the classic Champagne region of France. The 2002 vintage is a blend of 16 villages, 75% of which are grand cru and 25% from premier cru. Bollinger use only the ‘cuvée’ juice in the making of La Grande Année and the first fermentation is always carried out 100% in old oak barrels. The wine is aged on its lees for a minimum of five years. After manual riddling and disgorging, the wine rests for a minimum of three months prior to shipment. RS 7.1 g/l. 33 stores. Real class here. Layers of flavour and extreme intensity and dry finish. Grown up. Very clean and still youthful. 18/20 points.