Grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Text: Alex Cheung
2008 is the Champagne vintage set to make history, Bollinger is one of the latest Champagne houses to release this legendary vintage fizz. At Bollinger, only very high quality harvests become a vintage, La Grande Année means "Great vintage" in French. After 10 years bottle ageing, La Grande Année 2008 is finally hitting the market. It may take a while, but your patience will pay off.
La Grande Année 2008 is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, fermented in used small French oak barrels, cellar aged in bottles under natural cork, riddled and disgorged by hand, just like the old days. Both the incomparable nature and the craftsmanship shaped the identity of this prestige Champagne.
The new vintage also saw La Grande Année to come in a new bottle format, the Champagne house claimed that the slender neck and wider base slows down the oxygen exchange, and help the Champagne aged better. I have compared the same Champagne from standard bottle and Magnum during the launch event, it really showed the difference. La Grande Année 2008 Magnum displayed great fruitiness and crispy acidity, which tasted just like a young Champagne. As a matter of fact, the "new" bottle is dating from 1846, the unique shape is close to the perfect balance of a downsized magnum.