Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne

SKU #100041 93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 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. *Outstanding*  (1/2015)

93 points Wine Spectator

 Lovely aromas and flavors of ripe black cherry and currant fruit, graphite, toast and candied Meyer lemon zest are set in this racy Champagne, with a refined, finely detailed mousse. The mouthwatering finish is long and spicy. (AN)  (8/2017)

92 points James Suckling

 Looking the part with a keenly struck trade-off between freshness and complexity, there's plenty of pinot-derived red fruit on the nose, as well as biscuity, mellow, sweet spices and fragrance. The palate takes a similar path, with some grilled cashews and citrus, too. Nicely crafted texture, with cherry and peach fruits. Drink now.  (10/2017)

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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Price: $59.99

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Staff Image By: Rachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/17/2017 | Send Email
One of the best priced Grand Marque Champagnes we have on the shelf, especially when taking account the quality of the wine. More than one third of the wine is barrel fermented and more than one third is reserve wine aged for a minimum of 10 years in magnums before blending creating possibly one of the most complex champagnes I have tasted yet. Some cracker or fresh brioche aromas mixed with fresh yellow apples draw you into a textured yet lively palate that doesn't stand still!

Staff Image By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/9/2017 | Send Email
The Bollinger Special Cuvee is a Champagne for the connoisseur, as it is created painstakingly from up to forty percent reserve wines, which are stored in Magnums, under half pressure, and hand disgorged before bottling! This is a Champagne of exceptional quality and small production, created from grapes grown on Chalky, south facing soil. Aromas of lightly toasted nuts lead to a broad, very dry palate, with a dominant, chalky minerality and a slightly creamy roundness.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/8/2017 | Send Email
This family owned and independent House still makes one of the best and most reliable oak aged Champagnes on the market. 3 to 4 years ageing on the lees has filled this with notes of caramel, toast, ripe apricot and touches of oak in a bold and chalky style. This is big, full bodied bubbly that is filled with richness and tension.

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/8/2017 | Send Email
Bollinger is one of my immediate go to houses for people looking for a known name that delivers stunning wine for the price. The special cuvee from them is the perfect place to start with this all family owned estate. Lovely fruit notes of early plum, red fruit, and green apple with a little wood and spice are all firmly in balance here. The level of complexity is impressive and the finish is soft but does not fall flat in any way. There is also a beautiful tartness to the wine from the acid that serves to enhance the overall experience.

Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/7/2017 | Send Email
Oh man, is this good, soooo good! We have to be careful around here about picking favorites in the Champagne category, because the fact is that we all love Champagne and our current favorite may be bested by yet another delicious bottling before long. That said, for many of us, Bollinger is a long-time favorite amongst the grande marques, a true original and - without going into detail - a process that is ridiculously labor intensive, manual and expensive even for their Special Cuvee. With aromas of loquat, and a slightly savory, Beurre Blanc like note, the current bottling immediately drew me in in. It may be the 1/3 barrel fermented aspect of the base wine, the presence of 10-20 year old reserve wine, or my experience with the other great chalky soil based wine region of Europe, but I detected just a passing resemblance to Manzanilla here! A bright, delicious, complete and complex palate seals the deal and Bollinger continues to be one of my absolute faves.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/7/2017 | Send Email
I find this to be one of the most interesting Champagnes we have on the shelves right now because of how many different notes and tastes it possesses. While Bollinger is one of the larger houses in Champagne, they are absolutely one of the best. The amount of care and work they put into their Champagne is unreal and the dedication to quality is beyond almost all others. The average age of the wine in this bottle is ten years old and one third of it is barrel fermented, which is far less common in Champagne. Topping wine in this house is kept in magnum bottles, separated by cru and vintage, which means they have to pop every single one when it comes time to add dosage to the bottles. This painstaking work results in an unbelievable wine and one I would be happy to have anytime.

Staff Image By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/6/2017 | Send Email
This Champagne is crazy good! Crazy because its primary fermentation is 1/2 done in barrel and crazy because the 1/2 of the wine is aged in magnum at 1/2 pressure (3 fathoms) and then disgorged and blended in. Two hundred and fifty-thousand magnums hand-disgorged and tested for cork taint as the mags are aged on the cork, not crown cap. Who does this?! The Special Cuvée is bright and lively on the initial taste but, fleshes out and the trademark Bollinger golden fruits and caramel come into play. Super, super long finish! Still a family-owned Champagne house!

Staff Image By: Sal Rodriguez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/6/2017 | Send Email
You don't get this fine of a wine without putting in a lot of effort! If I had to give a gift and it needed name recognition, and it had to be epic, and it had to be less than 100 dollars - This is it!! Intense, spicy musk, with a serious presence. Lots of weight and complexity to explore. Great minerality and plenty of apple flavors to enjoy. A perfect bottle of bubbly!

Staff Image By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/6/2017 | Send Email
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Who doesn't love Bolli! 007, The gals from Ab Fab, and us! Seriously this has always been a favorite, likely due to its generous use of reserve wines and meticulous winemaking, the bold rich and nutty presence and light zesty lemon peel highlights are truly hard to resist.
Top Value!

Staff Image 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.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/15/2015 | Send Email
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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

Staff Image 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!

Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/20/2008 | Send Email
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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
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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.

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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