Champagne Bollinger Special Cuvee NV
The original vineyards used to source the grapes for Joseph Bollinger's wines in the early 18th century were owned by his father-in-law, Comte de Villermont who did not want to sully his name with any connection to 'trade' and therefore insisted that the resulting champagne bear the name 'Bollinger.'
During the difficult years of the Second World War, the firm was looked after Mme Lily Bollinger who is often quoted giving her definitive reasons for drinking Champagne:
"I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty."
Mme Lily Bollinger was the last of the Bollinger family to run the business which passed to her nephew, Christian Bizot on her death.
The Champagnes of Maison Bollinger are classic Pinot dominated wines offering complexity and longevity. They are big and biscuity and at least half of the wines used in the Special Cuvee are cask fermented lending a touch of oak to the palate. With some bottle age, it expands into a silky smooth, biscuity wine which is immensly mellow.
The Champagne House of Bollinger was established in 1829 by Jacques Bollinger and Paul Renaudin. Over the years the vineyard holdings have been steadily increased with the largest expansion taking place under the stewardship of the legendary Mme Lily Bollinger. She ran the company between 1941 and 1977 and today it is managed by her great-nephew, Ghislain de Montgolfier.
Bollinger has a reputation for producing muscular champagnes with body, depth and power, and is today considered one of the "Great" Champagne houses.
70% of the grapes come from the firm's own vineyards. 80% of the harvest is barrel-fermented with the wines being kept on their yeast lees for an extended period of time (in the case of the RD, around 10 years).
Bollinger produces classic, complex, Pinot-Noir dominated champagnes with the ability to age gracefully for many years.
60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15 % Pinot Meunier