Known for their powerful, sophisticated and complex style, House Bollinger has been at the forefront of Champagne production since 1829. Accepting nothing less than excellence, each and every detail represents their quest for perfection. This excellence is recognised world over, indeed Champagne Bollinger has held a Royal Warrant in England since 1884! Producing muscular champagnes with depth, power and exceptional agebility, Champagne Bollinger create a range of cuvees, from their Grande Annee and almost mythical Vieilles Vignes Francaises to their limited edition James Bond collaborations and the recently launched PN series. We delve into this exemplary Champagne House and find out what makes Bollinger so unique. 

Established in 1829 by Jaqcues Bollinger and Paul Renaudin, this stalwart Champagne House has become synonymous with producing exceptional quality. Over the years, their vineyard holdings steadily expanded, and under the guidance and stewardship of the legendary Madame Lily Bollinger, its reputation grew to become one of the greatest Champagne houses that stands today. The Bollinger vineyards cover 179 hectares, the majority of which are classified Grand or Premier Cru sites. Making up 60% of the vineyards Pinot Noir is the predominate variety, a demanding grape with an intense character that forms the backbone of the Bollinger style. To ensure continuity of style year on year, the Bollinger cellar boasts an exceptional collection of over 800,000 reserve magnums, making Bollinger the only champagne House with such a wide and precise palette of flavours for their blends. In addition to their sprawling reserve cellar, the best crus are vinified in a stock of 4,000 small, aged casks and often aged for twice as long as the appellation requires to give great complexity and a fuller character to its wines.

A pillar of the Bollinger style, the House has forged its reputation on its excellent Pinot Noir. In 2020, the house launched a brand new NV Blanc de Noirs ‘PN’ cuvée to celebrate and showcase this variety whose complexity and power lends to the remarkable structure from the Bollinger style. Bollinger PN embodies the ambition to bring to light the variety of expressions of Pinot Noir by selecting the finest varietal from several terroirs, each contributing a unique component to the overall taste. Each edition will feature a different cru from the base year, carefully selected by Champagne Bollinger, so that each new version will be an elegant reinvention of the original cuvee. Serving precision and vivacity, the PN series displays and promotes Bollinger’s unique vision of Pinot Noir. This is an exciting series from a legendary Champagne house and one well worth following. Competing with vintage champagnes in terms of quality, yet released at a fraction of the price, the PN series belongs in the cellars of any Champagne connoisseurs collection.

The third instalment of this excellent cuvee is the PN TX 17, the first cuvee to showcase the distinctive features of the Tauxieres terroir. A unique blend with a distinct profile, the majority of the PN TX 17 blend comes from the 2017 vintage and includes 48% of reserve wines from 2016, 2009 and 2006 adding richness and complexity to the final wine. A tricky vintage for Pinot Noir due to unfavourable weather, the team at Bollinger have nonetheless excelled in selecting the finest grapes that are well-balanced with exceptional aromatic intensity. With sophisticated and complex notes of apricot, peach and exotic fruits, this is a lively, linear wine with great clarity.

From the critics

The wine is almost completely dominated by the extremely exciting and rare Tauxières Premier Cru, which is one of two villages classified 99% on the Grand Cru scale. Despite an impressive vineyard area of 237 hectares, it is extremely rare to come across champagnes dominated by this fantastic Cru. A cooler microclimate and a thinner soil layer with even more compact chalk than sunny Bouzy make the wines from here lighter and more elegant than Bouzy but stronger than Verzenay which is also part of this exciting Blanc de Noirs with predominantly base from 2017. Here is also a small splash of Avenay to give a little buttery roundness to the cuvée with its low dosage of 4 grams. The reserve wines that always come from magnum bottles under low pressure make up 48% from three vintages in 2016, 2009 and 2006. In total, half of the wine is made in oak barrels and the other half in steel tanks. The result is very beautiful and personal. The scent has features of lead pencil, juniper and freshly lacquered boat together with more classic coffee notes, rose petals, apricot and peach. The taste is vivid and multifaceted with a lively precision, lighter fruit aromas than you normally find in Bollinger’s wines. Even cassis is one of the more unexpected aromas in this finely tuned complex symphony. Very impressive and exciting champagne that really makes me want to taste more and that I will look out for to my private cellar. 92-94 points, Richard Juhlin

A tender nose shows of a sense of fresh, sweet cream and crushed berry – unusually with a hint of blueberry, followed by Red Delicious apple and a beautifully lifted and aromatic note of tangerine. The palate is sinuous and elegant, there is wonderful depth of fruit and that lovely signature creaminess of Bollinger expressed in superfine foam. There is subtle length that only emphasises the depth of flavour. Very elegant, very expressive, as vivid, energetic and vibrant as the previous releases under this series. Lovely. 94 points, Anne Krebiehl MW, Falstaff.com

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