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La Grande Année is the Prestige Cuvée of Champagne Bollinger. It is only produced when exceptional quality harvests occur, and is the expression of Bollinger's experience and expertise. More than the illustration of the vintage, La Grande Année is the result of the Bollinger style, of its exceptional terroir and traditional wine making techniques. La Grande Année possesses a beautiful rounded structure and combines rich, complex and intense aromas. These wines express sincere vinosity and intense aromas that depict the conditions of that particular vintage.
Blend 66% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay
At Bollinger, only very high quality harvests become vintage.
2004 was quite a delicate year in Champagne, with a relatively dry winter and spring but a cold, wet end to the summer. The grapes were picked during a fine Indian summer which meant they were in an excellent state of health. All the conditions were favourable to give their grapes the special qualities necessary for the very best vintages.
"La Grande Année 2004 is a must-have for gourmet restaurants and good hotels alike: it is the perfect champagne to serve with a fine meal. To fully appreciate its unique style, bouquet and aromas, La Grande Année 2004 is best served between 10 and 12°c.
You can enjoy La Grande Année 2004 right away, or choose to age it in your cellar… for more than 10 years."
Mathieu Kauffmann, Cellar Master
A great example of how large yields do not necessarily mean poor quality in Champagne. As a reaction to the previous year's low yields, the vines produced one of the largest crops on record. The growing season proceeded without major difficulties but the bumper crop called for bud thinning. August brought about cooler weather and some rains, increasing the risk of rot. The massive crop, averaging 13,990 kg/ha, was picked from September 18th onwards. The quality was a pleasant surprise; vibrant wines with appropriate intensity, refined charm and refreshing lightness. This vintage impresses me more and more, and I feel tempted to give it the full five stars. It comes with a rare balance of freshness, lightness, yet fine aromatic intensity. Post-release, this vintage has proven to be slow to age, and elegant wines are likely to keep on ageing gracefully. Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer Cristal both excelled.