Bollinger La Grande Annee 2012 (1.5L)
Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions
97 WS / 96 WE / 95 WA / 94 VM / 93 DE / 17.5+ JR
#10 Wine Spectator Top 100 2020
#76 Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2020
This goes from zero to 60 right out of the gate, with an intense spine of acidity driving tightly meshed flavors of crushed black currant, ground coffee, candied grapefruit peel and toasted almond. The profile expands on the palate, carried by the fine, raw silk–like mousse. Richly aromatic and expressive from start to lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged July 2019. Drink now through 2037. From France.
Founded in 1829, Bollinger is one of Champagne’s few remaining grandes marques that’s entirely family-owned. Cellar master Gilles Descôtes was elevated to head winemaker in 2013. He blended the 2012 La Grande Année, a racy version that doesn’t hold back, deftly pairing an intense spine of acidity with an expressive range of flavors offered by the two-thirds Pinot Noir, one-third Chardonnay blend, sourced from premiers and grands crus vineyards. Following tradition, primary fermentation occurred in a mixture of 228- and 400-liter, neutral oak barrels. After blending and bottling for secondary fermentation, the 2012 aged in Bollinger’s cellars for six years before disgorgement in 2019. - AN, Wine Spectator
Still young for a wine of this caliber, this rich Champagne has an immense future ahead of it. The freshness of the wine will mature into the rich toastiness that is such a hallmark of this brand. Oak fermentation and aging have added to the great promise of this fine wine. Drink from 2022. - RV, Wine Enthusiast
Disgorged in July 2019, Bollinger's 2012 Brut La Grande Année is showing well, offering up an incipiently complex bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh peach, orange oil, toasted walnuts and dried apricot that's still quite reserved with less than a year on cork. Full-bodied, deep and muscular, the 2012 is blockier and broader-shouldered than its 2008 predecessor, with a weightier and even more concentrated palate built around a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a chalky finish that carries appreciably dry extract. This isn't quite as elegant as the exquisite 2008, but it is a superb effort and obviously built to age. - William Kelley, Wine Advocate
The 2012 Grande Année is vibrant and wonderfully nuanced. Citrus peel, orchard fruit, brioche, dried flowers and chamomile are all finely knit in a Grand Année built on energy and persistence more than size. Readers will find a restrained Grand Année in 2012. There is plenty of the textural richness that is such a signature of the house style, but I am also struck by the wine's freshness. Best of all, the 2012 will drink well right out of the gate. It is quite expressive today, even in the early going. - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
Texture is key here, with a fruit basket of indulgence tempting the senses, the predominant Pinot Noir adding plums, cherry and hints of cedar to the creamy, toasty core that has been bequeathed by the barrel fermentation. Energetic, vital and brimming with potential, its 8g/l of sugar is lightly worn. This is a seductive Grande Année, hard to resist in its youth but far from lacking gravitas and matière to secure a happy development. - Simon Field, Decanter
65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay. 21 crus: mainly Aÿ and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oiry for the Chardonnay. All base wines aged in old oak and riddled and disgorged by hand. Dosage 8 g/l. Disgorged in May 2019.
Bright crème pâtissière nose with notes of Cox's orange pippin apple and lots of development. Really quite arresting. Much drier on the palate than the nose suggests, with a certain steeliness. Bone-dry finish but lots of substance on the mid palate. More recognisably Bollinger on the palate than the surprisingly rich, flirtatious nose, presumably informed by the vintage. Low-key mousse. This is clearly a long-distance runner. - Jancis Robinson
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