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First released in 2008, Bollinger Rosé is a relatively new addition to the range. This Champagne puts on spectacular display Bollinger's approach with and expertise in Pinot Noir, and showcases the play between power and refinement that defines Bollinger. The wine starts with a base Special Cuvée: complex and full bodied, perfectly balanced with fresh acidity and a texture that only time can lend, creating a harmony of richness and elegance. 30% of the wine is vinified in used oak barrels of 228 liter barrels, with some 400 liter casks up to 40 years old. This commitment to traditional vinification is at the heart of Bollinger, and they are the only remaining Champagne producer with a cooper on staff. The wine will have matured for 30-36 months on the lees, with a final blend of 40-50% reseve wines, and 5-10% of the blend consisting of reserve wines 5-15 years of age kept in magnum under cork - utterly unique in Champagne, and all together responsible for the vast spectrum of aromas and flavors, and signature creamy texture.
Then, because of the quality, density and power of Bollinger's still red Pinot, only 5-6% of red wine is added to make the Rosé, less than half (or even a third) what you find in typical Rosé Champagnes. This lesser addition means the red fruits that join the conversation dance vibrantly, the finish has just a hint of perfectly ripe tannin, and the deep complexity of the wine shines through transparently. Dosage is 7-8 grams per liter. We like to say: "Fresh as a Rosé, balanced as a Bollinger".
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.