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News

Forbes Magazine features Champagne Bollinger in their latest article “Royal Wedding: What Drinks Will Meghan and Harry Serve”

Forbes Magazine features Champagne Bollinger as a strong contender for the Champagne chosen for Harry and Megan’s Wedding on Saturday, May 19th.

Bollinger has held a Royal Warrant since 1884 and has been the official Champagne at previous Royal Weddings, including Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981. According to the New York Times, Bollinger is Prince Charles’ “favorite Champagne.”

The article also highlights that Prince William and Kate Middleton served L’Hospitalet de Gazin 2004 as the red wine at their wedding.

 

Champagne Bollinger creates the “Perfect Moment” to celebrate the launch of R.D. 2004

To accompany the launch of Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2004 and true to our promise that “Life Can Be Perfect”, Champagne Bollinger invited two members of Club 1829 to live an exceptional moment and discover the brilliance of R.D. 2004 in the warm light of Southern Italy, on a yacht trip along the Amalfi coast.

A short film of this perfect moment can be found here.

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History

Jacques Joseph Bollinger founded Champagne Bollinger in 1829 with vineyards that have produced Champagne since the 17 th century. Jacques Joseph immediately began building a lucrative export business with dry Champagne that gained a worldwide reputation for its signature style.

The founding Bollinger died in 1888, and his sons—Georges and Joseph—took the reins. They acquired vineyards in the villages of Louvois, Bouzy, and Verzenay all while expanding exports. When Georges died in 1918, his son Jacques, a distinguished French Air Force pilot in WWI, took the helm. Jacques purchased vineyards and cellars, substantially expanding Champagne Bollinger’s capacity.

 

Jacques died in 1941, in the midst of the German occupation. His wife Lily saw the winery through the difficulties of war, which included nearly catastrophic bombing and severe shortages of fertilizer and fuel. After the war, Champagne Bollinger thrived under her leadership, and Lily became an ambassador for Champagne Bollinger and Champagne in general. Her words on the subject are still widely quoted:

I drink my Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty.”

Since 2008, for the first time in its history, the House placed its future into the care of a Chairman who was not a family member. Their choice fell on Jérôme Philipon, originally from the Champagne region, who had led an impressive career with large industrial groups.

With the Bollinger family's support, Jérôme Philipon has extended his predecessor's program of modernization and investment. With him, the House has continued to preserve its traditional expertise while incorporating the best of new technologies for the future development of the brand, both in terms of quality and commercial growth.

 

 

The relationship between Bollinger and the British secret agent goes back to the years when the latter was an exclusively literary hero. Champagne produced by the Aÿ-based House appeared in 1956 in Ian Fleming’s fourth Bond novel, Diamonds are Forever. In 1973, as 007 pursued his adventures on the silver screen, the relationship reached a crucial turning point: Christian Bizot, Bollinger’s Chairman, met Albert R. Broccoli, producer of the James Bond saga.

 

It was the start of a strong friendship between the two families, which was to seal the legendary association between Her Majesty’s secret agent and the champagne to which Queen Elizabeth awarded her Royal Warrant. For 007 and Bollinger, which has featured in Bond films since Live and Let Die, share a certain number of values: a passion for excellence, a sense of refinement, and consummate elegance.

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Vineyards

1650: The Hennequin de Villermont family settles in Champagne.

1829Jacques Joseph Placide Bollinger (1803-1888) partners with a de Villermont descendant and Paul Renaudin to form the Renaudin Bollinger company.

1837: Jacques marries de Villermont's daughter Charlotte. They have one daughter, Marie, and two sons, Joseph and Georges.

1870: Jacques exports his first shipment to the U.S.

1884: Georges is awarded the Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria

1888Georges and Joseph Bollinger take over the business on Jacques death, and acquire vineyards in Louvois, Bouzy, and Verzenay.

1901: Georges is awarded the Royal Warrant from King Edward VII.

1911: Because Bollinger used its own grapes, the house is spared during the Ay Riots when many Champagne houses are burned for importing grapes from outside Champagne.

1918: Georges dies and his son Jacques (1893-1941), takes over, following a career in the French Air Force.

1936: Jacques purchases vineyards in Tauxieres as well as the Duminy house and cellars.

1941: When Jacques Bollinger dies during the Nazi occupation of Champagne, Elizabeth ‘Lily’ Law de Lauriston Boubers (1899-1977), takes over.

1944: Bollinger's properties are heavily damaged by Allied bombardments to destroy German munitions, but General Patton's U.S. Third Army stops the retreating German army from dynamiting Bollinger's cellars.

1950: Lily is awarded the Royal Warrant from George VI and the Queen Mother.

1955: Lily is awarded the Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II.

1971: Claude d’Hautefeuille (1913-2000), son-in-law of Lily’s sister, becomes president.

1975: Bollinger introduces its pre-phylloxera ungrafted vineyard with the 1969 vintage, naming it Vieilles Vignes Françaises.

1978Christian Bizot (1928-2002), son of Lily’s youngest sister becomes president.

1993Ghislain de Montgolfier (1943-), great-grandson of Jacques Joseph Bollinger, and nephew of Jacques and Lily, becomes Bollinger’s seventh president.

2001: Bollinger opens its first Bollinger Bar, in the Le Meridien in Grosvenor House on Park Lane in London .

2005: Etienne Bizot, great-nephew of Lily Bollinger and the sixth generation of the family to be involved in Champagne Bollinger, was named Managing Director

2005: Bollinger names Terlato Wines International its exclusive U.S. marketer.

2008: Jérôme Philipon, a Champagne native, is the first president to be chosen who is not a family member. He continues to preserve the traditional expertise of the Bollinger House with support from the Bollinger family.

 

 

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Winemaking

Bollinger is the only remaining producer in the region with its own cooperage, and keeps a stock of 3,000 oak barrels for fermenting the base wines for its Non Vintage and Vintage wines.  Their single cooper, an important link to historical knowledge, does not make any new barrels, rather spends his time fixing barrels, many of which are over 60 years of age. All Vintage wines are 100% barrel fermented, both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation, something no other major producer does.

Bollinger stores its reserve wines to blend into their Non Vintage cuvées in magnum bottles, an incredibly labor-intensive process that no one today undertakes. It requires opening by hand all the magnums to blend into the Non Vintage wines, crazy work that takes a team of 7 a full month to complete every year.

Lastly, all Vintage wines are aged under cork, and not under a crown capsule (like a soda capsule). This requires that every Bollinger vintage bottle bottle is hand-riddled, and then hand disgorged. Again, an unthinkable amount of work.

 

In 1992, Christian Bizot, nephew of Madame “Lily” Bollinger wrote “Bollinger Charter of Ethics and Quality.” These quality standards have since been edited into Bollinger’s “Ten Commitments” – written proof of the family’s passionate commitment to producing the finest Champagne, now and in the future.

 

Representing the governing principals of the House.

  1. Bollinger produces all of its wines.
  2. Bollinger guarantees consistency in the style of its wines through large vineyard ownership.
  3. Bollinger favors Grands and Premiers Crus.
  4. Bollinger uses primarily Pinot Noir as the base of its blends.
  5. Bollinger uses only the Cuvée in its wine production.
  6. Bollinger carries out the first fermentation of its wines in oak barrels.
  7. Bollinger keeps its reserve wines in magnums.
  8. Bollinger allows for a very long maturation time.
  9. Bollinger ages its reserve wines La Grand Année and R.D. under traditional cork.
  10. Bollinger implements a very low dosage
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Inside information

MYTHICAL SCENES

It was in 1973 that the indissoluble link between Bond and Bollinger was forged, when the renowned champagne from Aÿ accompanied James during the shooting of Live and Let Die. It was only natural that the most British of champagnes and the most British of secret agents should come together… This was the beginning of a firm friendship between the Bollinger family and the producers of the Bond saga. It must be said that the House and the agent have many values in common: excellence, authenticity, elegance…

Throughout Bollinger’s partnership with 007, the secret agent has had an opportunity to enjoy some of the House’s most acclaimed cuvées. In License to Kill (1989), Bond (Timothy Dalton) gets to taste Bollinger R.D. 1979 in a casino scene. In Casino Royale (2006), after another casino round where he wins a high-stakes poker game, Her Majesty’s secret servant (Daniel Craig) shares a bottle of La Grande Année 1990 –one of the most coveted vintages of the century– with the beautiful Vesper Lynd.



The collaboration between the House and the Bond producers also resulted in movie scenes which, over time, have become truly mythical. “Bollinger? If it’s ‘69, you were expecting me”, James Bond (Roger Moore) says to CIA agent Holly Goodhead on spotting a bottle of Bollinger R.D. in her bedroom: this scene soon became one of the signature lines from Moonraker (1979). In another iconic scene from the film, former mercenary assassin Jaws is seen opening a bottle of Bollinger R.D. to toast the happy ending with his girlfriend Dolly… with his teeth!

A glass of Bollinger is always a way for 007 to indulge in a brief respite from his action-packed life: at the beginning of The Living Daylights (1987), Bond (Timothy Dalton) takes a break from a professional phone call to accept the proposition of a stunning woman, joining her for a flute of bubbly on a boat. In A view to a Kill (1985), the secret agent (Roger Moore) takes the time to savour a glass of Bollinger–and the view of the river–with Stacey Sutton at a party. James Bond knows how to take a break in style!

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10 different wines with 143 vintages

Winemaking since 1829

  • Elizabeth ‘Lily’ Law de Lauriston Boubers

    "I drink my Champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty.”

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  25 wines 

The 5th day of Champagne Magazines annual The 100-Best Champagnes of the year 2020 -tasting!

7h 40min ago

 Richard Juhlin , Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  3 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Already in the 1600s, Fiacre Taillet was a wine-grower in the small village of Merfy in the Massif de Saint-Thierry planted in mostly sandy soils, while Chartogne-Taillet was formed in 1920. Today, Chartogne-Taillet is still a family business. Alexandre Chartogne run a quality-controlled property with access to very old grapevines—even a little pre-phylloxera rootstock. Alexandre was educated in Burgundy and has a strong faith in the recipe: low yield equals high quality. He also worked with Anselme Selosse and returned to the family estate in 2006. He took full control the following year, and his influence has elevated the domaine to the top ranks of grower-producers in the region.The grapes come from 11,5 hectares in Merfy, Chenay, and Saint Thierry. Fiacre is a brilliantly refreshing, elastic, potent wine with a deliciously concentrated young fruit. Truly genuine terroir character is, of course, missing but this deficiency is well compensated for by its tart, rich, fruity cannonade. The Clos des Barres is a beautiful and super intense pure Pinot Meunier. Close to 4 stars today.

8d 13h ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  47 wines 

100 Best Champagne semifinals continue.... Some great surprises, such as Alfred Gratien Brut Millésime 2007!

28d 3h ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  40 wines 

The hard work of assessing hundreds of champagnes for The 100 Best Champagnes 2021 has started! First tasting session behind. Great champagnes with very consistent quality.

2m 10d ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  40 wines 

Champagne Magazine's The 100 Best Champagnes 2021 Day 1 -


6 more days to go.

2m 15d ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  19 wines 

Pol Roger 2012 – Whether or not it will ultimately be seen as topping the 2002 is probably immaterial. Suffice to say, both are spectacular. This is, for me, the best since that great wine. A blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, it was aged for seven years on lees before disgorgement and then spent further time in the cellars. Dosage is just 7 grams/litre. The grapes were sourced from twenty vineyards across the Montagne de Reims and Cote des Blancs, both Grand cru and Premier cru. The wine sees full malo. Riddling is by hand, which is the exception these days. I thought it was an absolutely glorious wine, one which again would make many Houses very proud to have as their flagship. It is that good.


Pale green gold, the aromas open with stonefruits and citrus, more specifically white peach and grapefruit. A minerally backing. Florals, notably white jasmine, and a seabreeze freshness. A hint of red fruits sneak in and out every now and then. It reminded me of a perfect Queensland autumn morning, intense blue sky and the ocean sparkling like diamonds have been scattered across it. The wine has great length and carries the vibrant acidity with it. Fine balance. Decadent, hedonistic. The stonefruit and peaches dominate the finish. This wine has an assured future ahead of it and should drink magnificently for many years to come. A glorious champagne now, with even better things to come. 97.

6m 7d ago

 Richard Juhlin , Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  4 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  16 wines 

1970 DOM PÉRIGNON P3, A previously unreleased rare wine which gained greatly by being stored in the producer’s cool cellars. Great complexity and density. However, I am not so fond of the round taste profile and the architecture. The taste is classic nougat sweet with hints of coffee. The scent however breathe lake plants and mid-Swedish summer evenings. A lot of bottle variation unfortunately.’ RJ 93(93)

6m 17d ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  11 wines 

The true luxury champagne is the one that captures your full attention and makes you step off the treadmill to take a meditative moment with the champagne. The richness of its taste is limitless. Each sip peels new layeres of flavours and the aftertaste feels like neverending. Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1986 and Dom Ruinart Rosé 1979 were excellent examples of luxury champagnes at their best. Dom Pérignon 2008 and Krug Grande Cuvée 167 Edition will be there one day, and I believe with even bigger trigger.

8m 26d ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  7 wines 

Pol Roger ‘Sir Winston Churchill 2006 is the 16th release of this wine (A$360), following on from 2002 and 2004. It is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, though Pol don’t provide the percentages, from Grand Cru vineyards, no doubt the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims featuring heavily. Fermentation is in stainless steel at a temperature which is not permitted to exceed 18°C. There is a full malolactic fermentation, with the second alcoholic fermentation occurring in the deepest cellars that Pol have – 33 metres below ground level. Here the temperature is a consistent, and chilly, 9°C.


The 2006 is a superb champagne, though still so youthful. Indeed, if you can, lay it away for a couple of years. The nose has an immediate marzipan note with brioche and biscuits. Hints of honeysuckle. The palate is more grilled nuts, nougat and honeycomb. Lean and long, the structure is tight but everything is finely balanced, although the power and richness of the excellent 2006 vintage cannot remain hidden. Fresh acidity backs up the lingering intensity. Such a long finish. A champagne that will age magnificently. If you want a score, 97.

9m 10d ago

 Jancis Robinson MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  26 wines 

Pol Roger Vintage Champagne 1996 / From magnums served at a 21st birthday party for a wine merchant's daughter called, appropriately enough, Polly. Absolutely sublime. By now fully mature – cast off its youthful acidity – and a very broad, satisfying wine without being in any way heavy. Bone dry and with some putty and breadiness but also great breadth and length. This was a great vintage when it worked (even if some wines never  had enough fruit density to throw off their high charge of acidity) and it really showcases great champagne with magnum age. I have not tasted this wine from bottle recently. 19p

11m 2d ago

 Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  3 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  26 wines 

Dominus 2016 / Another possible legend in the making is the 2016 Dominus, a classic blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 40% new French oak. Pure, pristine notes of charcoal, cold fireplace, smoke tobacco, and both blue and black fruits all flow to a full-bodied 2016 that has incredible elegance and finesse, yet also depth and density. It’s more backward and reserved than the 2015 and needs 4-5 years of cellaring. It will unquestionably live for 25-30 years. 98+

11m 8d ago

 James Suckling., Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Krug Vintage 2002 / 100 points / The much-anticipated 2002 has impeccable detail and depth with a lot of chalky, stony and flinty elements on the nose as well as a very fresh edge. The nose is very complex and wound up tight but presents itself as very integrated and compressed. There are aromas of lemon rind, lime juice and a lime custard all at once, complemented in turn by a super-restrained hazelnut-like edge. Undertones of brown mushrooms, chalky minerals and lemon leaf. The palate has a core of sizzlingly intense, concentrated chardonnay framed whitin a powerful phenolic structure that will underpin the future of this Champagne. Flawlessly fresh and as perfect as it gets. Give this time as it needs to settle: best from 2020 and then for another decade beyond.

1y 1m ago

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