These are our last bottles of this brilliant Champagne from Bollinger; 2014 is a contender for one of the best Champagnes of the vintage and is a magnificent effort. A fantastic rendition for this Cuvee, 2014 is also one of the most outstanding vintages ever for the Grande Annee. Huge score from Galloni and the usual gang; this is not a vintage to miss for the Grande Annee, and we have a limited amount arriving in 2 weeks.
The current release of Bollinger's excellent La Grande Annee, 2014 is another exceptional vintage for this flagship Cuvee. The 2014 Bollinger Grand Anne is a blend of 61% Pinot Noir and 39% Chardonnay from 19 crus this vintage, mainly from Aÿ and Verzenay for the Pinot Noir and Chouilly and Oiry for the Chardonnay. The juice sees fermentation in 228-liter barrels and 400-liter casks that are up to 40 years old. It remains in barrel for six months, undergoing alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, which is no longer as common in Champagne. Bottling is done under cork to undergo secondary fermentation, which is another old-school technique Bollinger has stuck with, rather than a crown capsule. This also requires that every bottle of Grande Annee must be hand-riddled and hand-disgorged. 2014 spent over 7+ years on the lees and has a moderate 8 grams per liter dosage.
This is a very complex and intense vintage for Bollinger, on par with 2012 showing incredible minerality with an array of fruit ranging from citrus to plum that mingles with notes of hazelnut and almond. It's a precise and balanced Champagne that many fans of the House will enjoy, and at this low pricing, it is one of the best buys for tete de cuvee Champagne. Two nice notes below this 2014 ranks among the best vintage of Grande Annee of all time.
Antonio Galloni 98 points! "The 2014 La Grande Année is stunning. In fact, it is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. What comes through most is the wine’s sizzling energy and tension, qualities that aren’t often associated with Bollinger, where the Champagnes tend to show more breadth and volume. In 2014, readers will find a Grande Année built on linear intensity and drive. The 2014 is a blend taken from 19 villages, 61% Pinot Noir and 39% Chardonnay instead of the more typical 70/30 mix. For the second time in two decades (the first was 2007), Verzenay takes the lead in the Pinots over Aÿ, more or less an inverse from the norm. Verzenay, a north-facing village in the Montagne de Reims that saw less rain than Aÿ and most of the Vallée de la Marne, yields Pinots of energy more than volume. That, married with Chardonnays mostly from the Côtes des Blancs (predominantly Chouilly, Vertus, Oiry and Cramant), results in a truly magical Grande Année that will delight Champagne fans for several decades. I can’t recommend the 2014 highly enough. It’s a total knock-out. Disgorged: April, 2021. Dosage: 8 grams per liter. Drink: 2024-2044. (Mar 2022)"
Wine Spectator 97 points "[$190 list] Racy acidity drives this mouthwatering Champagne, enlivening the rich panoply of flavors. Features a fine and creamy mousse that's still a lively springboard for aromas and flavors of crème de cassis, glazed tangerine, roasted hazelnut, ground coffee, pickled ginger and white blossoms. Long and satiny, with minerally salt and chalk notes gaining momentum on the lasting finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged July 2021. Drink now through 2037. (4/6/22)"
Wine Advocate (William Kelley) 95 points! "Offering up complex aromas of crisp yellow orchard fruit, confit citrus, frangipane, walnuts, dried white flowers and subtle hints of iodine, Bollinger's 2014 Brut La Grande Année is medium to full-bodied, pillowy and vinous, with an elegantly fleshy core of fruit that's underpinned by racy acids and complemented by a pretty pinpoint mousse. Concluding with a long, chalky finish, this is a charming but precise Grande Année that's more giving and demonstrative than its immediate predecessor, the 2012, but which attains a very similar level of quality in a more challenging vintage—testimony to the serious viticulture that underpins Bollinger's contemporary excellence. Drink: 2021-2045. (Mar 2022)"