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2012 Bollinger "La Grande Année" Brut Champagne

SKU #1461920 97 points Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark This goes from zero to 60 right out of the gate, with an intense spine of acidity driving tightly meshed flavors of crushed black currant, ground coffee, candied grapefruit peel and toasted almond. The profile expands on the palate, carried by the fine, raw silk–like mousse. Richly aromatic and expressive from start to lasting, spiced finish. *Highly Recommended* (AN) Inner quote mark (12/2020)

96 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark While the 2012 La Grande Année doesn't match the magical 2008, it's not far off and has a similar purity and elegance. Beautiful notes of white flowers, white grapefruit, salty minerality, sliced apple, and hazelnut nuances all emerge on the nose, and this beauty hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, plenty of mid-palate concentration, bright yet integrated acidity, and a beautiful finish. This gains depth and richness with time in the glass but really needs 2-4 years of bottle age and should easily evolve for 20+ years in cold cellars. Inner quote mark (3/2021)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Still young for a wine of this caliber, this rich Champagne has an immense future ahead of it. The freshness of the wine will mature into the rich toastiness that is such a hallmark of this brand. Oak fermentation and aging have added to the great promise of this fine wine. *Top 100 Cellar Selections 2020* (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2020)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Disgorged in July 2019, Bollinger's 2012 Brut La Grande Année is showing well, offering up an incipiently complex bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh peach, orange oil, toasted walnuts and dried apricot that's still quite reserved with less than a year on cork. Full-bodied, deep and muscular, the 2012 is blockier and broader-shouldered than its 2008 predecessor, with a weightier and even more concentrated palate built around a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a chalky finish that carries appreciably dry extract. This isn't quite as elegant as the exquisite 2008, but it is a superb effort and obviously built to age. (WK) Inner quote mark (3/2020)

94 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2012 Grande Année is vibrant and wonderfully nuanced. Citrus peel, orchard fruit, brioche, dried flowers and chamomile are all finely knit in a Grand Année built on energy and persistence more than size. Readers will find a restrained Grand Année in 2012. There is plenty of the textural richness that is such a signature of the house style, but I am also struck by the wine's freshness. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well right out of the gate. It is quite expressive today, even in the early going. (AG) Inner quote mark (8/2020)

93 points Decanter

Outer quote mark Texture is key here, with a fruit basket of indulgence tempting the senses, the predominant Pinot Noir adding plums, cherry and hints of cedar to the creamy, toasty core that has been bequeathed by the barrel fermentation. Energetic, vital and brimming with potential, its 8g/l of sugar is lightly worn. This is a seductive Grande Année, hard to resist in its youth but far from lacking gravitas and matière to secure a happy development. (SF) Inner quote mark (2/2020)

93 points John Gilman

Outer quote mark The 2012 vintage of 'la Grande Année' from Bollinger is composed of a cépages of sixty-five percent pinot noir (primarily from Verzenay and Aÿ) and thirty-five percent chardonnay (from Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry). The vins clairs are all barrel-fermented and aged in cask and demi-muids for six full months prior to bottling up for secondary fermentation. The wine was given just over six years aging sur latte prior to its disgorgement in July of 2019; it was finished with a dosage of eight grams per liter. It offers up a pure, complex and nicely maturing bouquet of apple, peach, hazelnut, gorgeous soil tones, brioche and just a whisper of buttery oak. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a lovely core of fruit, fine acids and grip, very elegant mousse and a long, complex and beautifully balanced finish. This has the classic, elegant and very discreetly oxidative Bollinger style to it, coupled to the excellent girdle of acidity of 2012. First class juice. 93+ Inner quote mark (9/2020)

Jancis Robinson

Outer quote mark Bright crème pâtissière nose with notes of Cox's orange pippin apple and lots of development. Really quite arresting. Much drier on the palate than the nose suggests, with a certain steeliness. Bone-dry finish but lots of substance on the mid palate. More recognizably Bollinger on the palate than the surprisingly rich, flirtatious nose, presumably informed by the vintage. Low-key mousse. This is clearly a long-distance runner. 17.5+/20 points (JR) Inner quote mark (5/2020)

K&L Notes

La Grande Année is always entirely estate grown from Grand and Premier cru sites and entirely barrel fermented. It is also aged on the lees on cork rather than crown cap for a minimum of six years every time. The 2012 is composed of 2/3 Pinot Noir; mainly from Aÿ and Verzenay grand cru and 1/3 of Chardonnay; mainly from Mesnil and Oiry Grand Cru. They used slightly more Chardonnay than usual, but this in no way detracts from chalky, black cherry Äy soul of the Champagne. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

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Price: $129.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Jennifer Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/21/2020 | Send Email
This wonderful treat is well worth the price! Traces of crisp apple, lemon and floral notes hits your senses and leaves them tingling for more! Super easy to drink and pairs well with mostly anything,.. this champagne is ready to drink now and would be absolutely lovely even 5-10 years from now. Savor and enjoy!

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/20/2020 | Send Email
Cinnamon had made a beautiful appetizer of smoked salmon with crème fraiche for our Valentine’s Day aperitif, and we cracked open this 2012 to go with it. This Champagne had lovely, subtle pie crust and meyer lemon curd on the nose and in the mouth. The power of the Grand Cru Ay Pinot Noir was here for sure, with lots of the dark cherry fruit and vivid, crisp, chalky cut. As always, the barrel work is deft here, and I could not taste the oak at all, but rather just the fine toast from the long ageing on the lees. The finish is the most impressive thing about this wine now, with the creaminess of the top-quality Chardonnay only coming to the front after swallowing the wine. This is long finishing stuff, with plenty of richness.
Drink from 2020 to 2037

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/19/2020 | Send Email
If you are looking for one of the better deals in prestige vintage cuvées, you shouldn't pass up the Grande Annee from Bollinger. Vinified exclusively in oak from 21 meticulously selected sites, then hand-riddled and aged for 7 years on a cork (instead of the less expensive crown cap), and finally hand-disgorged for a stunning and uniquely Bollinger expression of Champagne. Notes of meyer citrus, lychee and guava, and ranier cherries intermingle with distinct minerality and subtle spices seamlessly. The texture is incredible, rich and layered but also light and crisp, buoyed by the signature 2012 acidity. The beautiful flavors last on the palate for over a minute. What a ride! Well worth the price of admission.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/17/2020 | Send Email
Beginning with bright apple scents, this wonderful vintage Champagne develops into lemon pith and light toast aromas. The palate is a lovely little mix of soft citrus, pineapple, fruit cocktail, honey, and a touch of salinity. This vintage of Grande Annee is packed with flavor. The combo of the citrus acidity and slight saltiness makes this quite a mouthwatering wine, and the finish is delectably long.

By: Aaron Hughes | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/16/2020 | Send Email
Wow, this was one heck of a treat. This was absolutely gorgeous out of the gate with a floral and citrus-y nose that enticed me in from the start. The palate was full of ripe and crisp apples and that delightful brioche-y quality with a finish that had just the softest hint of grapefruit zest and pith. I'm excited to see how this Champagne ages, and is an easy recommendation on a great Champagne to stock up on to lay down.

By: Muriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/15/2020 | Send Email
Another great vintage of Grande Annee. This has all the characteristics I look for in a champagne, crisp, good acid, long finish and layers of complexity. There's a baked bread essence that softens the citrus and mineral flavors. The first word I thought off when I tasted this is PLUMP. Not fruity or flabby like over-ripeness can be but in concentration. Looks like 2012 is one of those vintages that is pleasurable to drink now but can be laid down for some time.

By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/12/2020 | Send Email
This is a superb bottle of Champagne that you won't want to miss out on. The 2012 Grand Annee is concentrated and open right out of the bottle. Notes of citrus, brioche and lime zest are shown on the palate, with a mineral and saline layer. It has great depth and a beautiful long finish. It drinks well now and I think you'd also be happy after 5-10 years in the cellar.

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