94 Points James Halliday & Top 100 Wines 2015
Chardonnay Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier French Champagnes, Ay France
Special Cuvee stands as one of the most distinguished entry level Champagnes. Family owned and run, Bollinger is dedicated to producing a consistent and distinctive style. To reinforce this commitment, Bollinger launched it's own Charter of Ethics and Quality which guarantees the continuity of style and refinement. Grapes for Special Cuvee are sourced from thirty Crus, approximately 75% of which are estate vineyards. Dry and assertive, powerful and fine, Special Cuvee remains consistently a pure expression of fine Champagne.
The first fermentation is done Cru by Cru, individual batches are kept separate, preserving the unique characters of the source vineyards. Bollinger is one of the very few Houses of Champagne to do some first fermentation in oak barrels. Bollinger uses small tanks to ferment its wines, improving the control of the fermentation process, enhancing the quality of wines in the Special Cuvee. Bollinger spends an exceptionally long time resting on it's sedimentery lees, contributing to the complexity. On average, the blend comprises 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier. A further component of 5% to 10% reserve wines, from several different origins, all Grand and Premier Crus, all stored under cork.
An immensely fine bead, amber gold hues. There is richnes and unparalleled complexity to the bouquet, peaches and praline, butter and almonds. Intricate balance to the palate, the distinct chalkiness of Champagne is set against the alchemy of fruit compote flavours, refreshingly acidic, apricot and tropical fruit, butter and semolina cake. The flavours are many, aromas are authentic and exciting, the palate never breaks, a superb Champagne of immense personality.