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Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé is an alternative expression of La Grande Année, transformed by the addition, at blending, of the unique red wine from La Côte aux Enfants. The emblematic single plot of the House, located in Aÿ, produces still red wine only when the grapes reach perfect ripeness. After vinification in small aged oak barrels and a prolonged ageing on its lees, even today every bottle of La Grande Année Rosé is riddled and disgorged by hand. This reflects all the expertise of the House, able to create a cuvée whose quality is matched only by its rarity.
This champagne has an appearance with pinkish glints. A real mosaic of fruit aromas of raspberry, wild strawberries, and cherries. Notes of peach and quince complete this fruity bouquet. This wine is characterised by its creamy effervescence, splendid volume in the mouth and long aromatic persistence. Its wonderful acidity and sea-air characteristics appear alongside flavours of orchard fruits and berries.
A challenging vintage for Champagne in the face of an unprecedented heatwave during the summer months. The wines are characterised by the year's unusual circumstances. Large-scale frosts destroyed most of the projected yield and they were followed by hail and an extremely hot summer. Harvest was kick-started early on August 21st and yields remained minuscule at 8,100 kg/ha. Atypically round, ripe, sun-kissed wines that miss freshness and backbone. The total acidity level was notably low, at 5.8 g/l. Only the very best performers were able to avoid heaviness and overripe aromatics. This vintage was not largely declared but some famous names, Krug and Dom Pérignon at the fore, chose to experiment with it. Both produced excellent 2003s and Dom Pérignon's chef de cave at the time named the vintage as one of the creations he is most proud of. Some special cuvées surfaced, such as 2003 by Bollinger, as the house found the year did not stylistically fit into the La Grande Année range. Palmer & Co also took a curious route and made its 2003 only in magnum, releasing it much later than usual as cuvée Grands Terroirs. The ageing capacity of 2003 is much debated. Dom Pérignon's Richard Geoffroy had great confidence in his 2003 and he actually regretted releasing it too early. The jury is still out, but personally I am inclined to drink mine sooner rather than later, as the advancement post-disgorgement has in most cases been rather rapid and the wines miss the acidic backbone necessary for retaining freshness.