Marks and reviews
Nicknamed “Boll” by those from Champagne and “Bolly” by the English, the timeless and legendary Bollinger Champagne House forms part of a small circle of three great Champagne houses. Bollinger champagne’s style is defined through its remarkable precision, which is brought to every moment of production. With a respect for tradition, riddling done by hand, natural corks for magnum reserve bottles and the last permanent cooper in the region, excellence has symbolised Bollinger champagne culture since its creation in 1829 in Aÿ. More than an art, it is a heritage.
Bollinger's uniqueness comes from its 174 hectares divided into seven main vineyards in Champagne, 85% of which are Grands Crus and Premiers Crus, making the house one of the few to produce its own grapes for its blends. Pinot Noir is the house's signature grape variety and represents 60% of the vineyard's vines.
A symbol of Bollinger's creative audacity, it was during the 1960s that the house created the R.D. cuvée, for "Récemment Dégorgée" (recently disgorged). Conceived by the illustrious Madame Bollinger and produced exclusively in exceptional years, Cuvée R.D. is a vintage champagne aged on its lees, offered for tasting just after disgorgement. Freed from the codes of the time, Bollinger R.D. has a unique taste that started a revolution in the champagne world.
R.D. Récemment Dégorgé 2008 is made from 18 different Grand Crus and Premier Crus, the majority of which are in Aÿ and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir, and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant for the Chardonnay. This Extra Brut champagne is dosed at 3g/L.
Marked by unstable climatic conditions, 2008 was characterised by a cool spring which gave way to a stormy summer. These conditions had an impact on the vineyard, causing significant irregularity between grape varieties, crus, sites and plots. In spite of this, thanks to the know-how at Maison Bollinger and the hard work of its teams, the vineyard’s health was preserved. The harvest, which began on 15 September, was carried out under favourable weather conditions and produced high quality grapes, giving rise to a vintage in which the vivacity and power of the Chardonnay grapes harmoniously combines with the structure of the Pinot Noir.
Winemaking and ageing
This exceptional cuvée benefits from an ageing period more than four times longer than the appellation’s rules require.
Pinot Noir (71%)
The champagne is adorned with subtle golden higlights.
The nose is delicious and expressive, mingling scents of marzipan, apricot, honey, soft bread and refreshing notes of bergamot.
A precise attack gives way to a full and complex palate. Scents of mirabelle plum, vine peach and citrus harmoniously mix up to a lingering, saline finish.
Food and wine pairing
The visionary Madame Bollinger recommended to the sommeliers of the time that they taste Cuvée R.D. during a meal. In order to bring out the aromatic richness of this cuvée, Piedmont hazelnuts, a 25 month-matured Gruyère cheese or a Candelous sheep's cheese are refined pairings.
There are two unique ways to taste Bollinger R.D. 2008. It is possible to taste this vintage champagne in the year following its disgorgement or to lay down the champagne in the cellar and wait several years, to allow the full aromatic potential of this cuvée to emerge.
For the best tasting, serve at 12°C.