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Earlier than I let you know why I like the Bollinger champagne type, I believed I’d begin by explaining simply how a lot I like Bollinger champagnes.

Bollinger champagnes have been the very first champagnes I ever wrote about once I began Bubble & Flute. And I’ve simply realised writing these posts at present that I’ve really gone on to write down about Bollinger champagnes greater than 20 instances on my weblog (and no – I’m not on the Bolly payroll, I want lol!)

My love affair with the Bolly champagne type was additionally the catalyst for me creating my “Champagne Model Information”. Once I was simply beginning out attempting completely different champagnes with my associates, we’d all deliver alongside our faves to dinner events – I might at all times deliver the Bolly whereas my different associates would favour Pol Roger or Taittinger or Billecart-Salmon.

All of us had a sure champagne we liked and stored coming again to. So I did slightly extra analysis (really, make {that a} LOT extra analysis, and by analysis I imply DRINKING!), and developed my principle that there are 4 primary champagne kinds.

Once you learn my “Champagne Model Information”, it begins with a easy five-question quiz. After you reply the 5 questions, I reveal your champagne type – mine is ‘wealthy and sturdy’ – after which I reveal your ‘good match’ … and Bollinger is my good match. (In my Champagne Model Information, I additionally offer you extra champagne suggestions primarily based in your type that I feel you’re completely going to like! #ICYMI try my Champagne Model Information!)

So in spite of everything that analysis to work out how a lot I liked the Bolly type, the following step was additional analysis to search out out why I feel Bollinger champagnes are so superb.

So primarily based on a few decade of ‘analysis’ listed here are The Prime 5 Issues I Love About Bollinger Champagnes.

The Prime 5 Issues I Love About Bollinger champagnes

1. Pinot noir

I stated my champagne type was ‘wealthy and sturdy’ … the pinot noir grape is the hallmark of the wealthy and sturdy type.

And pinot noir occurs to signify 60% of the overall of Bollinger’s vineyards/grape crops, and every bottle of Bollinger’s entry stage non-vintage champagne, the Particular Cuvée mix, is 60% pinot noir.

What does pinot noir imply for the champagne?

Loads of consultants describe the pinot noir in champagne as giving it vigour, complexity, fullness, power, or its spine.

To speak style, pinot noir grapes in champagne provide flavours like strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, plums, and blackberries which deliver deeper, richer traits.

Ingesting Bollinger, it’s exhausting to outline only one flavour and I’ll odor and style one thing completely different each time, however there isn’t a doubting the ripe fruits!

#HOMEWORK – if you want to compensate for some champagne principle, there are three varieties of grapes utilized in champagne – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier (extra right here).

Clos Saint Jacques at Bollinger

2. Then there’s barrel fermentation

#GEEKALERT – I do speak about a bunch of champagne making methods on this submit. So if you want to compensate for some champagne principle and wish to know all about how champagne is made, it’s best to try my Champagne Faculty classes on making champagne.

Loads of champagne producers use oak for fermentation and for a lot of it’s a hallmark. Bollinger makes use of 3,500 oak barrels to vinify the very best grand and premier cru musts (or grape juice) which is greater than any producer with maybe the exception of Krug.

Barrel room at Champagne Bollinger
Barrel room at Champagne Bollinger

About barrels at Bolly….

  • Bollinger doesn’t age in barrels… they use barrels for alcoholic fermentation for 4-Eight months.
  • They solely use previous barrels (common of 20 years previous) and that is particularly so the barrels don’t impart woody flavours to the wine.
  • So why do they use barrels in the event that they don’t need the wooden aromas and flavours? They use barrels as a result of the porosity of wooden permits oxygen into the wine for micro-oxygenation. As an alternative of including woody flavours, this helps reveal the fruit within the wine – the richer and fuller flavours that I LOVE a lot – and it permits the wine to age higher (which is necessary – extra about ageing as you learn on!). However mainly, due to the small quantity of oxygen in touch with the wine, it may possibly age longer and resist the detrimental results of oxygen over time.

3. Ageing reserve wines in magnums

Since we began speaking about ageing, now is an efficient time to introduce the BIG secret to the amazingness (and uniqueness) of Bollinger champagnes.

Bollinger shops its reserve wines in 750,000 magnums, saved village by village and classic by classic.

Virtually 100% of the time, champagne producers retailer their reserve wines in tanks . Typically it’s stored in wooden, however Bollinger is without doubt one of the few producers who age reserve wines in magnums. Most wine makers really suppose it’s utterly loopy. The few who do it have a a lot smaller manufacturing than Bollinger as a result of it’s an extremely costly manner of doing issues.

Bollinger makes use of between 80,000 and 120,000 magnums yearly to mix their champagnes. All the magnums of reserve wines are saved below cork (not a cap) as a result of it permits for longer ageing. And bear in mind, reserve wines are nonetheless wines – they haven’t undergone secondary fermentation but so when the time comes to make use of them, they’re all opened individually, by hand and must be examined for cork taint.

It takes a crew of 4 individuals two months to open and individually odor every magnum of reserve wine.

Are you able to think about being the CFO at Bollinger and also you uncover that for 2 months 4 individuals manually open bottles and odor wine when everybody else makes use of tanks and a pump?

However Bollinger doesn’t comply with the norm as a result of they imagine their method brings extra richness and complexity to the wines.

And after ready patiently for 5, ten, or fifteen years earlier than deciding to make use of the magnums in a mix, the cellar grasp then units about utilizing the magnums as a sort of magic champagne spice field. If the cellar grasp needs to deliver some fruit to the wine, he’ll take a pinot noir from a heat yr to deliver some depth. If he needs some freshness, he may take a chardonnay from a chilly yr like 2007.

Thoughts-blowing course of that pays off brilliantly to supply a mind-blowing champagne! And whenever you have a look at the price of a bottle of Bollinger when this quantity of affection and a focus has gone into it in comparison with another huge manufacturers, it’s a no-brainer to me to spend an additional $10!

4. Time or ageing

So after the mixing has been carried out and the wines are despatched off for secondary fermentation, Bollinger age their champagnes a minimum of twice so long as is required by the appellation (15 months is required for non-vintage and three years for vintages).

Ageing makes the wine richer and extra complicated but in addition has an impact by way of texture, providing a whole lot of creaminess to the wine. Bollinger describe their wines as having a creamy effervescence that underpins the Bollinger type that may solely come from lengthy ageing.

The longer ageing makes the wine richer (extra about how right here). My information at Bollinger shared a good way of understanding the impact of ageing on the aromas in champagne.

He defined if you considered ageing by way of apple aromas, after two years of lees ageing, you’ll have the ability to detect apple aromas in wine. However after 5 years, the aromas could have developed to odor extra like cooked apple. And when you wait one other two years (so now six years complete) it should develop to odor like baked apple pie. After which whenever you attain ten years of ageing, the aroma develops to odor like tarte tatin.

It’s all these technical parts that make Bollinger outstanding.

5. And for me, this all provides as much as…

Ingesting any glass of Bollinger for me is just like the style equal of listening to Adele. Soulful, timeless, highly effective, and wealthy. Adele’s voice can transfer you, break your coronary heart, make you wish to cry and fall in love unexpectedly. 

Any time I drink a glass of Bollinger I really feel like I’m rolling within the deep… I can really feel a fireplace beginning in my coronary heart, reaching a fever pitch, and it’s bringing me out the darkish.

Bollinger Champagne Style

Don’t fear, I gained’t undergo Adele’s whole again catalogue however you’ll be able to try my again catalogue of posts that includes Champagne Bollinger when you like. I’ve constructed up fairly a group. (Truthfully, till I began to drag this listing collectively, not even I realised how typically I’ve written about Bollinger! I assume I prefer it a bit.)

My notes on the complete Bollinger Champagne Assortment might be discovered under:

Do you’re keen on Bollinger? Inform me In the event you do, I’d love to listen to why so ensure you submit a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute #happychamper #champagnefan to let me know!

Bubble & Flute promotes the accountable consumption of alcohol for people of authorized consuming age of their nation.