In 2005, the champagne house of Bollinger enjoyed a very special year. When less rain than usual fell, it meant more summer sunshine on its vineyards and the Maison reaped an exceptional harvest in the autumn.
Now released, La Grande Année 2005 is made exclusively from 13 grand and premiers crus grapes (70 per cent pinot noir, 30 per cent chardonnay), and vinified in small oak barrels to avoid transferring tannins to the wine. On the nose, you’ll enjoy honey, gingerbread and cinnamon, and that sweetness continues with hints of candied orange, ripe fruit and vanilla.
If one magnificent vintage isn’t enough, Bollinger has also created La Grand Année Rosé 2005, which fuses the brut champagne with a pinot noir grown in the Maison’s small grand cru vineyard, La Côte aux Enfants (named after the small children whose nimble fingers were originally used to pick the grapes in the hard-to-reach plot).
What To Drink It From
“Champagne is a wine and deserves to be treated as such,” says Maximilian Riedel of glass manufacturer Riedel. “The larger rim diameter of the Veritas champagne glass enables the scent of a champagne to be released in a way that’s not possible with a narrow flute. The glass also includes a sparkling point to aid the formation of the bubbles.”
Veritas Champagne wine glass, £55 (box of two), riedel.co.uk
What To Eat It With
“The nutty taste of Comte cheese with its crystallised crunch of salt is perfect with champagne,” says Patricia Michelson, founder of acclaimed cheese shops La Fromagerie. “Comté D’Estive has a golden brown crust and a hint of caramel sweetness and is aged for at least 24 months. We taste-select cheeses twice a year and have them kept for us in the cellars beneath the dairy in Franche-Comté.”
Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année 2005 is available at Berry Brothers & Rudd, £300 per six-bottle case, bbr.com
La Grande Année Rosé 2005 is available at Fine+Rare, £380 per six-bottle case, frw.co.uk