Champagne Bollinger unveiled the latest vintage release of their iconic Bollinger R.D. champagne last night in splendid style at Spencer House in St James, London’s most magnificent eighteenth-century aristocratic houses.
Bollinger Managing Director Charles-Armand de Belenet and new Chef de Cave Denis Bunner toasting the launch
Bollinger R.D. 2008, characterised for its remarkable boldness and splendour, was presented exclusively to the UK during a special reception and dinner hosted by Managing Director Charles-Armand de Belenet and Denis Bunner in his first major launch since taking over as Chef de Cave at Champagne Bollinger.
Guests on the evening were welcomed by Pipes and Drums of The London Scottish Regiment in honour of Madame Bollinger’s ancestral Scottish heritage and the boldness and splendour of Bollinger R.D. 2008. Spencer House, recognised as one of the grandest private residences in the capital, has a rich history of aristocratic connections that reflect the history of Champagne Bollinger, as Madame Bollinger was herself an aristocrat, born Élisabeth Law de Lauriston-Bouber.
Guests were treated to a sumptuous menu, accompanied by Bollinger R.D 2008 in various formats and themed throughout with IGP Langhe hazelnuts specially sourced for the occasion from their native home in Piedmont, Italy. All vintages of Bollinger R.D. are paired with food in honour of the wine’s creator, Madame Bollinger. The Langhe hazelnut was chosen as it echoes the freshness and generosity in the R.D. 2008 allowing it to fully express the many layers of its complex aromas.
Only produced in exceptional vintages (there have only ever been 27), Bollinger R.D. 2008 is an exceptionally complex wine and a stand-out vintage release. Aged on lees for an extended 14 years and launched in petit magnum format to slow the ageing process and further increase the wine’s complexity, it also has a record low dosage of 3g/l. The new narrow-necked bottle shape introduced by the House in 2008 only adds to the intrigue of this remarkable new vintage.
Bollinger R.D. is released a few months after disgorgement. It is this recent disgorgement (R.D.) that contributes to the wine’s remarkable freshness in contrast to its great age. Bollinger was the first Champagne House in 1952 to put a disgorgement date on their label. This followed Madame Bollinger’s unique and bold idea at that time to develop a recently disgorged old vintage (1952), with the dosage of an extra-brut. A revolutionary moment that would forever inform the Bollinger style, as well as the Champagne category as a whole. This was the vintage that gave the cuvée its name: Bollinger R.D.
The R.D. 2008 is a blend of 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay, 18 Grands and Premier Crus predominantly from Aӱ, Verzenay, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Cramant for Chardonnay, which can either be enjoyed the year following disgorgement to reveal its complex fruit aromas, or after a few more years of cellar ageing to uncover the full aromatic potential of a wine from a truly great vintage.
Victoria Carfantan, Director of Champagne Bollinger, Group Bollinger UK & Global Partnerships says:
“The Bollinger R.D. experience is unlike any other, the contrast between the exceptional freshness on the palate and the exquisite aromas of an old vintage is quite exquisite. Madame Bollinger was a true visionary bringing R.D., her totally new tasting experience to the world. So how apt that we are celebrating her remarkable achievement with the release of the Bollinger R.D. 2008 on the day after International Women’s Day. This has been a very special evening to launch a very special wine to the UK market.”
Denis Bunner, Chef de Cave at Champagne Bollinger says:
“Bollinger R.D. 2008 is an exceptional wine from a great vintage, so exceptional that I believe it is the future 1928 which was a blockbuster for the house! I am honoured to be here in London for my first major launch since taking over from Gilles Descôtes as Bollinger’s Chef de Cave and I invite the UK trade to raise a glass in his memory and to discover this outstanding new vintage of R.D. which truly is a wonderful tasting experience for lovers of great wine.”