The NV Brut Special Cuvee is fabulous. Hints of pears, pastry crust and hazelnut lead to an expansive core of fruit. There is plenty of the signature Bollinger oxidative style in this rich, enveloping Champagne.
Once again the Special Cuvee is one of the best Champagnes in its price range. Under the direction of Chef de Caves Mathieu Kauffmann, Bollinger produces one of the most consistent lineups in Champagne.Bollinger is one of the handful of larger firms that manages to put out consistently high quality wines despite its size. This estate based in Ay is probably best known to the public through its long association with the James Bond films, which is quite possibly one of the most successful product placement campaigns of all time. Despite the show biz glamor that has inextricably become part of the Bollinger mystique, at their best these are serious wines with significant aging potential. The low-dosage R.D. (recently-disgorged) series can be tremendous, and the Vielles Vignes Francaises, made from pre-phylloxera Pinot Noir vines, is one of Champagne's most exotic bottlings.
The estate favors neutral oak barrels for the aging of its top wines. One of the most unique aspects of this estate is that the reserve wines are aged in magnum, rather than in tank, which is the prevailing custom in the region. Bollinger's back labels are quite informative, but it would be nice to see disgorgement dates as well on the non-vintage wines.