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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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14 different wines with 160 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.

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  7 wines 

There was one more wine on this magical afternoon, and it was a divine bottle of 1978 Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline.  There were Coches and Rousseaus and Jayers oh my, but this Guigal was wine of the day.  There were all the signatures here – the bacon, the violet, the garrigue, the smoked meats, the menthol, the white pepper – if you ever had any aroma or flavor in a Guigal wine, it was here.  There is something transcendental about the first twenty years of La Mouline, whose first vintage was 1966.  Not that the younger ones are lesser, but over time those first two decades have hit some legendary high notes over and over again.  The 1978 had a body wouldn’t quit, and there was no doubting this was one of the greatest Syrahs ever made (99).

27d 23h ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  6 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  10 wines 

Bollinger R.D. 1976 /“Every one of my encounters with this wine has been a slight disappointment, but then again expectations fly really high for the vintage. The earlier disgorgements have had a really sweet appearing nose with candied fruit and patisserie notes. Mouth-filling, super ripe, chunky palate short of energy. It feels like its best days are already gone. From a very recent 2012 disgorged bottle if was still fully vibrant, with a peculiar combination of aged and youthful characters. Probably still recovering from the shock of such late disgorgement.”

4m 30d ago

 Richard Juhlin , Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  2 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  4 wines 

‘It is striking that Winston Churchill 2013 is now lighter and more shy at launch than they used to be in the past. On the other hand, they seem to end up very close to the older vintages after a few years of their own storage. This slow development with Verzenay as such a clear mineral-rich stringent protagonist is noticeable not least in the glass. Just like in 2012, the wine is much more impressive and rounded rich a few hours after opening the bottle. Then a little cautiously, the whole Winston bouquet appears in the form of baguette, dark chocolate, strawberry jam, olives, gunpowder smoke, black coffee and sweet gravenstein apples. Drink after 2028.’


90(94)p

5m 20h ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Editor of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  22 wines 

Heitz Martha's Vineyard 1974. Still a big, powerful wine that sums up the richness of this perfect Napa vintage. It is densely fruity, spicy with an enormous black plum and minty fruit character to go with the acidity. It's concentrated while still showing such wonderfully pure fruit. This is a monumental, eternal wine!

5m 17d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  10 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  16 wines 

Chateau Musar 1998 / This is a beautifully mature wine that is delicious to enjoy now. The wine has elegance, persistence and ethereal flavours of dried autumn leaves, black truffles and pu'er tea. Lovely, silky texture, supple palate and a long finish. An impressive wine that rivals the best of Bordeaux

7m 19d ago

 Bollinger  has updated producer and wine information

8m 24d ago

 Bollinger  has updated producer and wine information

9m 10d ago

 Richard Juhlin , Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  3 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  31 wines 

Thiénot x Penfolds Blanc de Blancs 2012 / The dosage stored in Penfold's Australian barrels. In all three wines where Peter Gago had a hand and his barrels in the production, you have an added and impressive power and butterscotch oakiness. The wines are simply larger and more expressive than in the steel tank-fermented prestige champagnes from Thiénot. The very best in the trio with a Comtes de Champagne-like opulence and fullness. Even more roasted and coffee-scented than the model and at least as smooth texture. Not quite the same depth and elegance, but it is a fantastic champagne in any case.

9m 16d ago

 Lu Yang / Sommelier, Pro (China)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  12 wines 

Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 2010 / A beautiful Champagne, featuring fragrant notes of toasted brioche and grilled nut that are more subtle on the palate, transitioning to a rich underpinning layered with a pure chime of tangerine and accents of candied ginger, toasted saffron and lime blossom. This bundles a lot of concentrated flavor into a lithe frame. The fine mousse caresses the palate through to the lasting finish. Perhaps the best one from the 2010 vintage!

10m 25d ago

 Antonio Galloni, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  18 wines 

Armand  Rousseau The 2008 Chambertin is rather delicate and almost ethereal in its seductive personality. This is another surprisingly open, expressive 2008. The tannins are elegant, while the wine’s balance is simply terrific. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038. 

1y 1m ago

 Bollinger  has updated producer and wine information

1y 1m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Bollinger . In a tasting of  15 wines 

2014 Mastroberardino Taurasi Riserva Radici /Ruby. Cherries, anise, liquorice, dark fruits, some spices, exotic spices, cinnamon and light tobacco note nose. Faintly floral. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, juicy with texture, anise, fruit driven, fuller bodied than last bottle I had of this, lovely balance, drinking very well now, long finish. My best bottle to fate of this. Just starting development. Piero Mastroberardino himself suggest up to 60 years storage and compares it with the fresh 1968 vintage. 13,5% alcohol. 92

1y 4m ago

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