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Champagne Bollinger Launches La Grande Annee 2015 in the UK

On Wednesday 27th March, Champagne Bollinger hosted a dinner to launch the eagerly anticipated 2015 vintage of the prestigious La Grande Année and to offer a first taste of the La Grande Année Rosé 2015 in the UK. The wines were presented to guests by Bollinger Celler Master, Denis Bunner at a special alfresco dinner held in a woodland setting outside of London.

La Grande Année is the embodiment of Maison Bollinger’s expert craftsmanship, preserved from one generation to the next. The wine is entirely vinified in small oak barrels. Champagne Bollinger has never renounced this very old method of production, which promotes the development of aromas with great finesse. After extended lees ageing, each bottle of La Grande Année is, to this day, still riddled and disgorged by hand.

The woodland setting was selected to echo the theme of wood and the forest, reflecting the craftmanship of the cuvee through the ageing in oak casks and the subsequent flavour profiles. Bollinger’s history has always been interwoven with that of its family forest in Cuis, which stands above the Maison’s 180ha of vineyards. Since 2015, this forest has provided Bollinger with wood which it shapes into the oak barrels that will one day become the home of some of the Maison’s future vintages. Bollinger is the only Champagne House that still employs a resident cooper, with barrel ageing in old oak casks one of the House’s most distinctive characteristics. To honour this theme, the launch event was held outside amongst the trees with dinner prepared for guests by Green Michelin starred chef, Chantelle Nicholson, owner of Apricity Restaurant in Mayfair.

The 2015 vintage in Champagne was marked by remarkable weather, blazing hot sunshine that was moderated by rain showers and Bollinger’s own expertise. A mild, wet winter gave way to a balmy early spring which reduced the risk of frost. With the highest recorded levels of sunshine since 2007, the month of April set the tone for a hot, dry summer. Flowering went smoothly followed by a rainy August just before harvest began on 4th September. Grape quality was excellent with compact bunches of small, extremely healthy berries. Both La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé are gastronomic wines which complement distinctive dishes with bold flavours. Their luscious richness is always perfectly balanced by an elegant note of bitterness and the delicate texture of the 2015 cuvées produces exquisitely harmonious wines.

Bollinger Cellar Master, Denis Bunner, was confident about the 2015 wines from the start. Bunner says: “The appearance of the grapes and the weather in 2015 clearly point to a very promising vintage. And so we harvest, we make the wine, and then we wait seven long years. Then it is out of our hands. We relinquish our control and, today, give in to discovery. What a thrill! The taste is well-rooted, earthy, powerful, and concentrated. You can taste the sunshine, which is enhanced by the wood.”

Chef, Chantelle Nicholson, said: “It has been a great privilege to work with Champagne Bollinger to create a menu that complements these exceptional wines. La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé are wines with integrity and elegance, being true partners to food. The inspiration from the woodland theme sees ingredients such as Kentish cobnuts and rhubarb paired with cured brill, and venison with mushrooms, pear and cherry."

Victoria Carfantan, Director of Champagne Bollinger UK, says: “It has been a great pleasure to immerse our guests into the woodland theme, to impart the unique philosophy behind La Grande Année. It was an honour for us to collaborate with a chef of Chantelle’s calibre, who was awarded a Green Michelin Star in 2023, tying in perfectly with the Bollinger B Corp status."

The RSP for the Bollinger La Grande Année 2015 is £175 and for the La Grande Année Rosé 2015 is £225. The La Grande Année 2015 is now available to purchase from Fine Wine Merchants and the La Grande Année Rosé 2015 will be released later this year.


Notes to Editors

About Bollinger

Champagne Bollinger: Eminent, distinctive, and distinguished fine wines of Champagne since 1829. Guaranteed through the integrity of a resolutely independent family house in Aÿ and through the artisanal know-how of people dedicated to growing and blending excellence. Devotion extending beyond the wines to support a sustainable environment and integration with local communities.

On 1st July 2022 Maison Bollinger outlined ambitious plans for its upcoming Bicentenary in 2029, as well as a new environmental and societal charter, marking the official launch of Bollinger’s ambitious plans for their Bicentenary Year. The countdown has started to successfully complete significant projects that reflect the Maison’s values and history, so they will be well prepared for the 200 years to come. The renovation of a historic site; a cathedral like cellar open to the vines, an oenotourism site with the capacity to provide unique experiences at the heart of the vines and cellars; and environmental and societal engagement. These are all undertakings that will reaffirm and support Bollinger’s values.

As of September 2023, Bollinger was pleased to announce they had achieved their objective of obtaining the B Corp certification. By obtaining the B Corp certification, Champagne Bollinger commits to a structure of ongoing development and must submit to an evaluation and verification process every three years to demonstrate that it still meets the constantly advancing certification standards. This certification recognises the merit of Bollinger’s daily actions. It engages all employees in a collective approach to progress.

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Anna Woodbridge

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