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The latest gift from Madame Bollinger, La Grande Année Rosé has been the expression of unique know-how from its origin. It is an extension of La Grande Année, through the addition of a very emblematic red wine coming from a unique plot of land in the Champagne region: The mythical “La Côte aux Enfants,” a vineyard of less than 1.5 acres, specifically dedicated to the making of La Grande Année Rosé. This wine is not produced every year, as perfect maturity is required at the date of harvest. Thus, La Grande Année Rosé remains an exception; it is a beautifully structured and full-bodied wine, with a deep color and intense aroma.
Madame Bollinger agreed to a Bollinger rosé under one condition, it had to be extraordinary, and that is how La Grande Année Rosé was born: The unique blend between a great vintage champagne and a red wine from a unique plot, the legendary Côte aux Enfants. To produce a red wine of such high quality in the champagne region is a challenge: a rare treat, a true Bollinger.
Up to this point 1996 has been considered a fantastic vintage which produced classic wines; the best since 1990. A long, dry summer produced grapes of record ripeness with record acidity. Some, including myself, question how the 1996s are aging. The wines are generally characterized by a distinctive rather lemony acidity and very good attack, but some wines now seem terribly austere, while others already seem dangerously short of fruit. None of the subsequent vintages are quite as distinctive as 1996, which in the more successful cases should almost certainly be drunk after the 1999s.