Bollinger Grande Annee Brut Rose 2004
Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
Grande Annee Brut Rose is salmon pink with copper highlights. Notes of red currant and almonds, then a spicy toasty aroma. Surprisingly vinous, but also very fresh. Cherry, or even kirsch, slightly toasty. All Bollinger is there: presence and modesty, power and delicacy. This wine is not produced every year, as perfect maturity is required at the date of harvest. Thus, La Grande Année Rosé remains an exception; it is a beautifully structured and full-bodied wine, with a deep color and intense aroma.
Wine & Spirits - "Barrel fermentation gives this wine ornate complexity, while its crisp structural lines make it feel very contemporary French. The plump red fruit races with dynamism, extending the suppleness of the texture into more dramatic territory than where Champagne often ventures, and lasts with a gentler, floral grace. A youthful ten-year-old wine, this is built for long development in the cellar."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2004 Brut Rose La Grande Annee is a beautifully focused, vibrant wine endowed with striking minerality and fabulous overall balance. Clean veins of chalkiness run through the fruit in this energetic, taut Rose, while seductive floral notes linger on the finish. The 2004 is 68% Pinot Noir (including 5% still Pinot) and 32% Chardonnay, 89% from Grand Cru villages and 11% from Premier Crus. The 2004 is very young, but it is going to be nearly impossible to resist. It is a dazzling effort from Bollinger. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029."
Wine Enthusiast - "This grand rosé is rich and rounded. Its red fruit flavors are layered with toast and spice notes, with depth that gives the wine another dimension of complexity."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright orange-pink. Potent, mineral-accented aromas of redcurrant and blood orange, with smoke, anise and floral accents and a hint of chalky minerals. Sappy red berry and candied citrus flavors show excellent vivacity and put on weight with air. Finishes plush and expansive, with bitter orange pith and ginger notes adding lift and bite. Showing impressive complexity now but this should be even better in a couple of years."
Burghound.com - "A gorgeously complex, pure and refined nose of delicate red berry fruit, yeast and brioche aromas introduce delicious, fresh and strikingly intense flavors that are supported by an extravagant mousse that imparts a real sense of vibrancy to the dry, yeasty and again impressively complex finish. This is a really impressive rosé that is drinking well now though depending on your taste preferences could also just as easily be held for another 5 to 10 years."
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Champagne Bollinger Winery
In 1829, Champagne Bollinger introduced an instantly recognizable, dry, toasty style that connoisseurs around the globe have coveted ever since. Six generations of the Bollinger family have maintained that trademark style, and Bollinger is one of the rare Grande Marque houses to be owned, controlled and managed by the same family since it was founded.
With 399 acres of vineyards situated in the best Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages, Bollinger relies on its own estate for nearly two-thirds of its grape requirements, including the Pinot Noir that gives its Champagne its distinctive roundness and elegance. Bollinger is one of a select few houses that can control the quality of its grape supply so carefully.
Bollinger is renowned for its stringent quality standards. It adheres to traditional methods, including individual vinification of each marc and cru, barrel fermentation (it is the last Champagne house to employ a full-time cooper) and extra-aging on the lees prior to disgorgement.
Members of the British Royal Court were among the first to embrace Bollinger’s unmistakable quality, and Queen Victoria made Bollinger the exclusive purveyor to the Court by Royal Warrant in 1884. Besides royalty, loyal devotees have included heads of state, celebrities and even famous fictional characters: Agent 007, James Bond, demands the exclusive Champagne Bollinger. View all Champagne Bollinger Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.
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