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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.
A difficult start to the year led to early budbreak. There were some damaging hailstorms in early May, but the frost ultimately stayed away. The summer was overall warm and thanks to the hot and dry August, the grapes looked promising for the harvest. However, a damp September challenged producers and dilution was an issue for some. The 1999 harvest that started on September 15th produced a large yield (12,989 kg/ha) of sweet grapes that resulted in soft wines, low in acidity, which produced Champagnes that, in many cases, miss linearity and structure. Voluptuous and enjoyable with ripe, fruity, even exotic characters but in most cases for the medium-term only, even if the best seem to be maturing better than initially expected. The red wines of the year were exceptional and resulted in some outstanding prestige cuvée rosés, such as Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé and Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé.