1999 Bollinger "La Grande Année" Brut Champagne

SKU #1027331 94 points Wine Spectator

 A beautiful Champagne, from the complex floral-, coffee- and brioche-scented nose to the graphite, vanilla and citrus flavors. Light-weight and intense, with a lively structure and a long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2018.  (11/2007)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale straw. Vibrant, exotically perfumed bouquet evokes fresh pear and nectarine, with a wild spicecake quality adding complexity. Cinnamon-accented orchard fruit flavors are strikingly precise and palate-coating. Delivers outstanding concentration and finesse and finishes with superb persistence.  (12/2007)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 1999 La Grande Annee is a refined, elegant wine with pretty, exotic notes of apricots, peaches, honey, flowers, smoke and toasted oak. There is notable clarity and precision, in a style that is generous and approachable. The 1999 La Grande Annee is 63% Pinot Noir and 37% Chardonnay, of which 82% came from grand cru vineyards while 18% came from premier cru sites spanning a total of 16 villages. The wine was aged in oak and dosage was 7-9 grams. This bottle was disgorged in July, 2007. I also tasted the February, 2008 disgorgement which showed a more opulent, quality that I found utterly sensual and irresistible. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2014.  (12/2008)

K&L Notes

Bollinger is fiercely independent, and is one of the only Champagne houses that can claim consistency at the highest level for more than 100 years. This wine is entirely barrel fermented, in 5 year old 225 liter cooperage purchased from Burgundy. It is composed of 63% Pinot Noir and 37% Chardonnay and a high proportion of the fruit comes from estate vineyards. This Champagne has a Pale white gold color, cream, biscuits and savory Pinot Noir red fruit on the nose. This is a very light and bright (by comparison to past vintages, not by comparison to other Champagnes!) Bolli vintage that is delicious right now. -Gary Westby, K&L

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Price: $139.99
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Staff Image By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/20/2008 | Send Email
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Up until I tasted the 1999 Grand Annee, my exposure to Bollinger was very limited and I was apprehensive in supporting the widely acclaimed reputation of their vintage champagnes. After the first sip, my opinion was easily swayed. Compared to the Special Cuvee, the ’99 Grand Annee is extremely sophisticated and elegant. With a floral and brioche-scented bouquet, the champagne opened up gloriously on the palate with complex notes of citrus and pear. Unlike its counterpart, the Grand Annee is very much like a German Riesling, light-weight yet intense and full-flavored. Even though this wine is already eight years old, it is extremely youthful and needs several years of bottle age before it will blossom and show its true potential.

Staff Image By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/20/2008 | Send Email
We were served this wine at a dinner while we were in Bordeaux and I loved it so much that I emailed the rep while we were still sitting at the table having dinner and bought it on the spot. This wine is focused, rich and very fresh with great acidity and balance. This wine will gain complexity with a couple of years in the bottle, but it sure tastes good now.

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- 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.


- 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.
Alcohol Content (%): 12