Bollinger's NV Brut Special Cuvée is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier, and the grapes are mostly (more than 85%) sourced in Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages. The majority of the Special Cuvée is reserve wines, part of which have been aged in magnums for five to 15 years. The disgorgement I tasted in May 2018 displays an intense golden-citrus color and has a refreshing, concentrated bouquet of citrus fruits, sweet cherries, ripe apples, white flowers, toast, walnuts, ripe apricots and peaches, with just a touch of brioche. On the palate, this is an intense, very elegant and refined cuvée with a very long, refreshing, intense, aromatic and salty finish. This is an excellent Champagne with a beautiful chalky texture in the aftertaste. - Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate #237, June 2018
Highly recommended! A rich, smoky Champagne, with hints of marzipan and fennel seed accenting honeyed malt, bread dough, baked apple and gingersnap flavors. It's all focused by intense acidity, which meshes beautifully into the layers of flavor and refined texture, with a lingering finish. Drink now through 2021.
Outstanding! There is lovely complexity to the distinctly yeasty nose that combines high-toned green apple, pear, white flowers and gentle citrus nuances. The clean and sleek flavors are supported by a crisply firm but fine mousse where the finish is medium dry and lingering. It's not all that often that I suggest that readers cellar NV Brut but this is an example that absolutely cries out for it. I suspect that the texture will materially change for the better (i.e. become creamier) and better depth will be in the offing as well. Put it this way: this is a perfectly good Champagne right now but with 4 to 7 years of bottle age it could be first-rate and I would suggest buying it only if you're going to cellar it for at least a few years first. Note further that my rating assumes that the wine will be cellared.
Looking the part with a keenly struck trade-off between freshness and complexity, there's plenty of pinot-derived red fruit on the nose, as well as biscuity, mellow, sweet spices and fragrance. The palate takes a similar path, with some grilled cashews and citrus, too. Nicely crafted texture, with cherry and peach fruits. Drink now.
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