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"One of Bollinger’s great assets is a massive stock of reserve wine, including 600,000 magnums held under cork. Gilles Descôtes tends those reserves, working with the blending team to subsume the variations of the current vintage into Bollinger’s Special Cuvée by using a majority of reserve wines in the blend. The result is a rich and harmonious Champagne with deep reserves of flavor. Its substantial, formal structure feels polished, its flavors balancing the cool earthiness of a limestone cave and the sunnier, bright floral notes of fresh cream. Built for food, whether emphasizing the freshness with lobster bisque, or the depth with beef Wellington and chanterelles."
93 Points Wine & Spirits Magazine
"Bollinger’s NV Special Cuvée knocks it out of the park. Made from 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Meunier, with 30% of the blend brought up in barrels, it boasts a rich, deep, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of lemon curd, crème brûlée, caramelized stone fruits, and hints of toasty nuttiness that develop with time in the glass. It’s a big, rich Champagne that stays balanced and pure. Beautiful stuff."
93 Points Jeb Dunnuck
"Lovely aromas and flavors of ripe black cherry and currant fruit, graphite, toast and candied Meyer lemon zest are set in this racy Champagne, with a refined, finely detailed mousse. The mouthwatering finish is long and spicy. Drink now through 2022."
93 Points Wine Spectator
"Looking the part with a keenly struck trade-off between freshness and complexity, there's plenty of pinot-derived red fruit on the nose, as well as biscuity, mellow, sweet spices and fragrance. The palate takes a similar path, with some grilled cashews and citrus, too. Nicely crafted texture, with cherry and peach fruits. Drink now."
92 Points James Suckling
"The current release of Bollinger “Spéciale Cuvée” non-vintage Brut offers up a deep and vibrant nose of apple, lemon peel, lovely minerality, a touch of caraway seed, bread dough and a slightly saline topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and crisp, with a fine core, lovely mousse, very good focus and balance and impressive mineral drive on the long finish. This is still on the young side and more complexity will emerge with a bit more bottle age, but there is plenty of potential here and the score should climb a bit with bottle age. 2015-2025+."
90+ Points John Gilman
Special Cuvée is a pure expression of Bollinger’s distinctive house style, and truly a non-vintage Champagne that stands apart. As with all Bollinger Champagnes, it is based on Pinot Noir (60%), with 25% Chardonnay and 15% of Pinot Meunier. The complex and full-bodied palate is perfectly balanced with fresh acidity and a texture that only time can lend, creating a harmony of richness and elegance.
85% of the grapes for Special Cuvée are sourced from a combination Grand Cru and Premier Cru villages. Bollinger’s vineyards are the source for over 60% of their production, and they have been the first Champagne House to achieve the certification of “Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne”, the new set of standards established by the Champagne governing body to encourage stronger viticulture practices, as well as “High Environmental Value” accreditation in 2012.
30% of Special Cuvée is vinified in used oak barrels of 228 liter barrels, with some 400 liter casks up to 40 years old. This commitment to traditional vinification is at the heart of Bollinger, and they are the only remaining Champagne producer with a cooper on staff. The wine is then matured for 30-36 months on the lees, with the final blend consisting of 40-50% reserve wines, and 5-10% of the total blend consisting of reserve wines 5-15 years in age kept in magnums under cork. This totally unique, laborious process (each magnum is disgorged by hand to be blended) results in wines with a vast spectrum of aromas and flavors, and an inimitable texture. Dosage is approximately 8-9 grams per liter.