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"The lovely nose of acacia blossom, toast and graphite leads to flavors of poached quince, fleur de sel, white cherry, lemon pith and almond skin in this dry and harmonious Champagne. Almost airy and ethereal in texture, yet the finely woven flavor range goes on and on, echoing on the finish. Disgorged June 2017. Drink now through 2034."
96 Points Wine Spectator
"Very classical forward, intense, tertiary RD (recently disgorged) nose with brioche, spice box and candied fruit. Fine, piercing acidity is ably supplemented by a bone dry, richly textured, vinous mouthfeel that glides across the palate. Great generosity, complexity and youthful harmony with orange peel, tart-tatin, bread, roasted cashew, minerals and nougat flavours. Elegantly well-structured with a fine persistent mousse and a long saline finish. This is absolutely ready now, particularly if you prefer your RD with a deliberately fresh and vibrant aromatic profile. According to cellar master Gilles Descotes, this is really the point of RD in certain vintages like 2004. ‘So I would recommend that you open it within the next twelve months in order to capture and enjoy this very particular aromatic expression.’ Alternatively, if you prefer a touch more honey and praline notes, keep it in bottle for another five years – or more!"
96 Points Decanter
R.D. (Recently Disgorged) is the result of a great vision of Madame Bollinger, R.D. is a magnification of the very best that the Champagne region’s terroir has to offer. R.D. starts as a Grande Année, the prestige cuvée of Bollinger, and is allowed to mature for an extra 8 to 20 years, sometimes more. This special aging allows the wine to maintain a unique combination of freshness and vivacity, while developing delicate and complex aromas. The result is a unique style of its own that is highly acclaimed by Bollinger lovers and true wine connoisseurs. The disgorgement date - clearly stated on the back label - is informational. It does not mean that R.D. should be consumed soon afterwards. Much to the contrary, the R.D. wines are characterized by an impressive capacity to age, not only before, but also after the date of disgorgement.
Blend: 64% Pinot Noir and 36% Chardonnay from 15-20 Grand Cru and Premier villages. Coming from Ay in the Vallée de la Marne.
Aging: +13 years on its lees under cork
Disgorged: 20th November 2017
Dosage: 3 g/l
Since then, just twenty four vintages have been released and this year we will see the twenty fifth: Bollinger R.D. 2004. Made exclusively from the first press of juice (tête de cuvée) from Grand and Premier Cru vineyards only, bottled under natural cork during second fermentation (to improve ageing) and treated to manual riddling and disgorgement, this is seriously prestige fizz. As R.D. is La Grande Année that has been aged on the lees for much longer, developing newfound levels of complexity and intrigue, the assemblage is no secret: 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, just sightly more Pinot Noir than the 60% content of the last vintage: Bollinger R.D. 2002.
This unique expression of the generous and ripe 2004 vintage has spent over 12 years ageing underground in the cool, dark chalk cellars of Champagne. During a visit to the house in Aÿ last year with Jancis Robinson MW, we were fortunate enough to taste a bottle of R.D. 2004 with head winemaker Gilles Descôtes and COO Jérôme Philippon and were blown away by its abundance of fruit-forward flavour and masterful youth. Very tight at the time, this is sure to open up into a delicious ode to the remarkable vintage of 2004. We will have more news upon its release in March.
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.
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