Robert Parker 97+
Bollinger’s 2008 La Grande Année is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit, ripe lemons, honeycomb, warm biscuits, dried white flowers and a delicate top note of walnuts and fino sherry. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a beautifully refined mousse, superb concentration at the tightly wound core, incisive acids and a supremely elegant intermingling of Bollinger’s oxidative stylistic signatures with fresh, vibrant fruit. The finish is long, precise and chalky. This is a Grande Année built for the cellar—the real excitement will come with a bit more bottle age—but this is already a thrilling Champagne in the making. Finished with eight grams per liter dosage, it was disgorged by hand in July 2018. This is also the first vintage of Grande Année to be bottled in Bollinger’s new narrower-necked 1846 bottle, which should make for a slower evolving wine.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2060
Bollinger’s 2008 Grande Année is rich, ample and full-bodied, with all of the pedigree of the vintage on display. Dried pear, dried flowers, chamomile, red plum and mint develop as the 2008 shows the breadth and creaminess that are such signatures of the Bollinger house style. A whole range of brighter, more floral and chalky notes appear later, adding translucence and energy. The 2008 is 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay taken across 18 crus, and it is the Pinot that very much informs the wine in both flavor and texture. More importantly, the 2008 is one of the best Grande Années I can remember tasting. Bollinger fans won’t want to miss it. Disgorged November 2018. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2048
Jeb Dunnuck 99
The 2008 Champagne La Grande Année is another brilliant 2008 that delivers the goods. Straight-up awesome notes of stone fruits, white flowers, honeysuckle, and an incredible, liquid rock-like minerality all emerge from the glass, and it develops more nuance, spice, toasted bread, and an almost Alsatian Riesling-like petrol character over the course of the evening. It’s a full-bodied, rich, powerful Champagne, yet like the top 2008s, it has brilliant precision, purity, and focus. It’s unquestionably one of the finest versions of this cuvée ever produced, although it needs another 4-5 years of bottle age to hit prime time. It should keep for 3-4 decades. Bravo!
Anticipated maturity: 2023-2063