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Bollinger - 'La Grande Année' 2012 Champagne 750ml

$275.00
Sale price

Regular price $275.00

“As soon as we tasted through the first few barrels, we pretty much knew La Grande Année 2012 was going to be a good vintage.” Guy de Rivoire said.  "Bollinger is all about craftsmanship, simplicity and the essence of ingredients.”

The blend of the Grande Année 2012, de Rivoire said, was “classic” with 65% of Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay sourced from 21 crus with the Pinot Noir sourced mainly from Aÿ, Verzenay, Bouzy and Verzy, the Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly, Oiry and Vertus.  

As with all Grande Année wines, both 2012s were fully fermented in oak, aged under cork and agrafe, hand-riddled and hand-disgorged in May 2019 after roughly six years on the lees. Charles-Armand de Belenet later noted that the new bottle shape, introduced for the 2008 vintage, with its super-slim and graceful neck, also meant less oxygen in the bottle, mimicking the magnum effect just a little bit.

Tasting notes:

Golden colour. The first thing to strike on the nose is a sense of mellow creaminess framed by candied lemon richness. The body seems to be a rounded mouthful of captured sunshine. The palate unites sensations of yeast and raw, all-butter shortcrust pastry with lemon rind. The texture seems fluffy, utterly creamy, conjuring images of drinking in golden tufts of cotton candy clouds drenched in sunlit warmth. The freshness is ever-present within this rounded magic, but it is so integrated and mellow that its solar brightness and the definition it gives are just all part of seamless, sun-lit beauty. Yes, this will develop, but it is utterly delicious now.  

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Champagne Bollinger

Founded in the 1829 in Ay, the larger than life, family-managed Bollinger champagne house has long been a favourite of high flyers and licensed-to-kill double-o agents. Not styled to lurk in the shadows, the non-vintage is fittingly robust and opulent, expanding joyously onto the palate in a wave of appley authority, while the vintage and prestige expressions are held in high regard.

During her reign at the company (1941-1971), the expansive Lilly Bollinger put it thus: ‘I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it, unless I’m thirsty.’

--------THE GRAPE--------

Champagne blend

It might not be obvious looking at a Champagne or any other sparkling wine made by the Methode Traditionelle method, but Pinot Noir is one of the main grapes in these fizzy treats. Along with Chardonnay which is equally important and Pinot Meunier, to a lesser extent. Pinot Noir helps to give body and aromatics, Chardonnay gives acidity and finesse and Pinot Meunier can help to add some body or colour.

--------THE REGION--------

Champagne

Champagne is the famous region that makes the even more famous sparkling wines: Champagne. These wines are made via the Methode Tradtionelle process where the finished wines will undergo a secondary fermentation in bottle to create bubbles.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

“As soon as we tasted through the first few barrels, we pretty much knew La Grande Année 2012 was going to be a good vintage.” Guy de Rivoire said.  "Bollinger is all about craftsmanship, simplicity and the essence of ingredients.”

The blend of the Grande Année 2012, de Rivoire said, was “classic” with 65% of Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay sourced from 21 crus with the Pinot Noir sourced mainly from Aÿ, Verzenay, Bouzy and Verzy, the Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly, Oiry and Vertus.  

As with all Grande Année wines, both 2012s were fully fermented in oak, aged under cork and agrafe, hand-riddled and hand-disgorged in May 2019 after roughly six years on the lees. Charles-Armand de Belenet later noted that the new bottle shape, introduced for the 2008 vintage, with its super-slim and graceful neck, also meant less oxygen in the bottle, mimicking the magnum effect just a little bit.

Tasting notes:

Golden colour. The first thing to strike on the nose is a sense of mellow creaminess framed by candied lemon richness. The body seems to be a rounded mouthful of captured sunshine. The palate unites sensations of yeast and raw, all-butter shortcrust pastry with lemon rind. The texture seems fluffy, utterly creamy, conjuring images of drinking in golden tufts of cotton candy clouds drenched in sunlit warmth. The freshness is ever-present within this rounded magic, but it is so integrated and mellow that its solar brightness and the definition it gives are just all part of seamless, sun-lit beauty. Yes, this will develop, but it is utterly delicious now.  

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Champagne Bollinger

Founded in the 1829 in Ay, the larger than life, family-managed Bollinger champagne house has long been a favourite of high flyers and licensed-to-kill double-o agents. Not styled to lurk in the shadows, the non-vintage is fittingly robust and opulent, expanding joyously onto the palate in a wave of appley authority, while the vintage and prestige expressions are held in high regard.

During her reign at the company (1941-1971), the expansive Lilly Bollinger put it thus: ‘I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it, unless I’m thirsty.’

--------THE GRAPE--------

Champagne blend

It might not be obvious looking at a Champagne or any other sparkling wine made by the Methode Traditionelle method, but Pinot Noir is one of the main grapes in these fizzy treats. Along with Chardonnay which is equally important and Pinot Meunier, to a lesser extent. Pinot Noir helps to give body and aromatics, Chardonnay gives acidity and finesse and Pinot Meunier can help to add some body or colour.

--------THE REGION--------

Champagne

Champagne is the famous region that makes the even more famous sparkling wines: Champagne. These wines are made via the Methode Tradtionelle process where the finished wines will undergo a secondary fermentation in bottle to create bubbles.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.