2003 Bollinger "2003 by Bollinger" Vintage Brut Champagne

SKU #1034944 94 points Wine & Spirits

 Burgundian complexity is there from the moment this wine is first poured, and it is a wine as much as a Champagne, with remarkable balance given the extreme conditions of 2003. The firm's vineyards were hit with a spring frost, hail in June and excessive heat in summer. Bollinger blended pinot noir from Aÿ and Verzenay with chardonnay from Cuis to produce a wine that translates the vintage power and intensity into symphonic breadth. It has graceful length, a contrast of dark spice (enhanced by fermentation in older oak barrels) and pure limestone whiteness, the rasp of apple skin and the sweetness of vanilla. Delicious to drink, this is a concentrated, main-course wine for poulet de Bresse braised with truffles.  (12/2008)

94 points Wine Spectator

 Inviting and seductive, this opulent Champagne features plenty of mineral, toast, butterscotch, citrus and vanilla pastry flavors, matched to a lush texture. It's a bubbly you can relax into, like a plush pillow, yet has surprising length. Only available in 3-pack cases. Drink now through 2020. *Highly Recommended*  (11/2008)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This young vintage is outside the usual Grande Année range of vintages. Bollinger sees the unique heat of 2003 as a reason to make a special vintage for release early. The wine is rich, but being Bollinger, the richness has translated into the full character of the house style. It is relatively dry, packed with white fruits.  (12/2008)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright gold with a strong mousse. Deep, complex displays smoky apple, peach pit, buttered toast and vanilla bean scents. Fleshy orchard fruit flavors are complemented by baking spices, floral honey and a hint of candied ginger. Deep, creamy, powerful and focused, with very good finishing lift and a lingering note of bitter pear skin. This is already complex enough to enjoy; serve it with a rich shellfish dish or with a young creamy cheese.  (10/2008)

K&L Notes

Never has a vintage dominated terroir and conversation like the scorching hot 2003- the earliest harvest since 2003. Bollinger has decided to make a Champagne apart from their normal vintage line to celebrate this most bizarre of years- the 2003 by Bollinger! In the glass, this wine is more golden than one would expect from such a young vintage. The nose is precocious, and shows more wood than I can ever remember in from this great producer. This is a massive Champagne on the palate, with savory Pinot Noir power to spare and almost no dosage. (Gary Westby, K&L Champage Buyer)

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Price: $119.99
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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.