Bollinger La Grande Année 2012
• Domaine: Bollinger
• Appellation: Champagne
• Origin: Champagne, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
• 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay.
Wine Spectator's #10 Choice of Top 100 2020
Founded in 1829, Bollinger is one of Champagne’s few remaining grandes marques that’s entirely family-owned. Cellar master Gilles Descôtes was elevated to head winemaker in 2013. He blended the 2012 La Grande Année, a racy version that doesn’t hold back, deftly pairing an intense spine of acidity with an expressive range of flavors offered by the two-thirds Pinot Noir, one-third Chardonnay blend, sourced from premiers and grands crus vineyards. Following tradition, primary fermentation occurred in a mixture of 228- and 400-liter, neutral oak barrels. After blending and bottling for secondary fermentation, the 2012 aged in Bollinger’s cellars for six years before disgorgement in 2019. At Bollinger, only very high quality harvests become a vintage: the exceptional 2012 vintage led to Bollinger creating expressive wines that were simultaneously full, fresh and complex.
"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. Disgorged July 2019. Drink now through 2037." — Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (12/15/2020), Ratings: 97
"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." - William Kelley, The Wine Advocate (3/12/2020), Ratings: 95, Drink: 2024-2050