Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut Rose 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This graceful rosé Champagne has a lovely, creamy viscosity, enfolding aromas and flavors of ripe apricot and plum fruit, toasted almond, tea rose, dried mint and pickled ginger. This version's lush flavors and texture are well-meshed with and enlivened by a firm streak of racy acidity, with a chalky underpinning emerging to drive the finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Drink now
Consisting of 63% Pinot Noir and the rest Chardonnay, with 6% still wine from Côte Aux Enfants, the 2014 Champagne La Grande Année Brut Rosé is more expressive now and jumps out of the glass with fresh toasted brioche, apricot, wild raspberry, and orange custard. The palate is rounded and precise, with the spine and tension expressive of the cool vintage, followed by notes of golden orchard fruit, currant, and fresh salinity. This is showing well right now and is hard to resist, although it will certainly improve. Best after 2022. Rating: 96+
Of the 19 crus that provide this blend, the chardonnay (37 percent) grows in Couilly and Oiry while the pinot noir (63 percent) is mostly from Verzenay and Aÿ, including the small proportion of red wine from La Côte aux Enfants that gives its color. The oak fermentation of the base wines comes through as richness and spice, seamlessly integrated into quiet power, a pale rosebud tight with potential energy.
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.
Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.
Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.
With nearly negligible exceptions, . These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’
What are the different types of sparkling rosé wine?
Rosé sparkling wines like Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and others make a fun and festive alternative to regular bubbles—but don’t snub these as not as important as their clear counterparts. Rosé Champagnes (i.e., those coming from the Champagne region of France) are made in the same basic way as regular Champagne, from the same grapes and the same region. Most other regions where sparkling wine is produced, and where red grape varieties also grow, also make a rosé version.
How is sparkling rosé wine made?
There are two main methods to make rosé sparkling wine. Typically, either white wine is blended with red wine to make a rosé base wine, or only red grapes are used but spend a short period of time on their skins (maceration) to make rosé colored juice before pressing and fermentation. In either case the base wine goes through a second fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) through any of the various sparkling wine making methods.
What gives rosé Champagne and sparkling wine their color and bubbles?
The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, which traps carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. During this stage, the yeast cells can absorb some of the wine’s color but for the most part, the pink hue remains.
How do you serve rosé sparkling wine?
Treat rosé sparkling wine as you would treat any Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, and other sparkling wine of comparable quality. For storing in any long-term sense, these should be kept at cellar temperature, about 55F. For serving, cool to about 40F to 50F. As for drinking, the best glasses have a stem and a flute or tulip shape to allow the bead (bubbles) and beautiful rosé hue to show.
How long do rosé Champagne and sparkling wine last?
Most rosé versions of Prosecco, Champagne, Cava or others around the “$20 and under” price point are intended for early consumption. Those made using the traditional method with extended cellar time before release (e.g., Champagne or Crémant) can typically improve with age. If you are unsure, definitely consult a wine professional for guidance.