60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Meunier sourced from more than 300 crus, including 85% grands and premiers crus; 15% fermented in old oak barrels. The complexity and richness of Special Cuvée is unparalleled among the entry non-vintage blends of every Champagne house, short of ascending to the mesosphere of Krug. Its grand recipe explains why, built on incredible depth of 50%-60% reserves. Triumphant complexity is a given at Bollinger, but it’s the dynamic freshness and vitality that really set it apart as one of the most affordable Champagne benchmarks. (TS)
There is lovely complexity to the distinctly yeasty nose that combines high-toned green apple, pear, white flowers and gentle citrus nuances. The clean and sleek flavors are supported by a crisply firm but fine mousse where the finish is medium dry and lingering. It's not all that often that I suggest that readers cellar NV Brut but this is an example that absolutely cries out for it. I suspect that the texture will materially change for the better (i.e. become creamier) and better depth will be in the offing as well. Put it this way: this is a perfectly good Champagne right now but with 4 to 7 years of bottle age it could be first-rate and I would suggest buying it only if you're going to cellar it for at least a few years first. Note further that my rating assumes that the wine will be cellared. *Outstanding*
Bollinger’s NV Special Cuvée knocks it out of the park. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Meunier, with 30% of the blend brought up in barrels, it boasts a rich, deep, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of lemon curd, crème brûlée, caramelized stone fruits, and hints of toasty nuttiness that develop with time in the glass. It’s a big, rich Champagne that stays balanced and pure. Beautiful stuff.
The wine offers up a lovely nose of apple, fresh-baked bread, chalky soil tones, a bit of smokiness and a nice touch of citrus peel in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and complex, with a good core, elegant mousse and fine cut and grip on the well-balanced and vibrant finish. A lovely release.
Fine bubbles combine nicely with the cooked apples, pie crust and lemon rind. Some biscuit, too. Full body. Layered and creamy with a crisp finish. Always delicious.
There's a pleasing, snappy quality to the acidity framing this elegant Champagne, enlivening accessible flavors of currant, Marcona almond and orchard blossom, with a minerally touch of saline-laced oyster shell that lingers on the finish. (AN)
Disgorged six months ago, the latest rendition of the NV Brut Special Cuvée was bottled in 2015, and while its core derives from the 2014 vintage, it contains fully 60% reserve wines. The wine wafts from the glass with a classic bouquet of apples, pear, walnut oil and clear honey, followed by a medium to full-bodied palate that's broad-shouldered and Pinot Noir-driven, with a pinpoint mousse, nice tension at the core and a delicately chalky finish. Gilles Descotes commented that one of his biggest challenges is finding enough wine raised in wood to make the Special Cuvée in years where Grandé Année is produced—and to that end, Bollinger is significantly expanding its barrel program to ferment even more base wine in used oak. (WK)
Cool and generous, this is a bold, lusty Champagne with pinot-inspired scents of violets and flavors of dark berries, the wine structured by its time in oak. It’s a vinous Brut, suited to roast fish and light game.
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