Bollinger Grande Année 2008 was fermented entirely in oak. The average age of those small barrels is 20 years. Bollinger has about 3,500 of them. The wine then stayed on lees in the bottle – under cork – for nearly 10 years. The blend is 71% pinot noir and 29% chardonnay. The 18 crus or villages include Aÿ and Verzenay for pinot noir and Le Mesnil sur Oger and Cramant for chardonnay. There is now universal acknowledgement that 2008 is a great vintage. The grapes were perfectly ripened and packed with rich acidity. This perfect storm of juicy fruit and irrepressible freshness makes for exceptional wine, particularly Champagne. Bollinger Grande Année 2008 was launched in Aÿ on 25 March 2019 and around the world in April. Even though the wine has spent nearly 10 years on lees, to be perfectly honest, it is a shame to broach a bottle now. Citrus notes, spice and minerality are detected but all that richness is very compressed. The density and intensity are practically locked up. If you have to assuage your impatience, do so at least with a large glass and ensure this stunning bubbly is not too chilled.
Watch – on Youtube – Le Grand Tour , a journey of discovery with cheese, ham, scallop and fish with Bollinger Grand Année 2008 hosted by Cellarmaster Gilles Descotes.