21 Jun 2011

Wine of the week: a perfect Champagne ?

Ok so we are being a little elitist here, as this retails for over 100 euros a bottle, but I cannot but speak my admiration for this bottle of Champagne that I shared with a friend last week. After all, I do also talk regularly about wines that retail for less than a tenth of this price, so let's be a little self-indulgent for a minute. And who knows, maybe some of my readers have money, or a rich uncle, or get lucky one day. Well, if you do, and you feel like celebrating, you could do worse that going out and buying a bottle of this stuff, if you can find one. It will make you feel very good indeed!

Bollinger RD 1997 is the latest(?) in a line of vintage Champagnes that this excellent house (Bollinger) releases after some length of time spent in its cellars. I would say the right length of time for a decent Champagne, but some might find this to be a little extremist. The term "recently disgorged" means that it has been kept in the producer's cellars until quite recently and only then has had its yeast (used for the second, in-bottle fermentation that characterizes Champagne) removed and the final cork pushed in. It is the top of their range.

Before anyone says that "recently disgorged" does not mean quality, since Champagne needs to rest after such a shock,  I would agree but add that this bottle was "operated" upon on July 15th 2009. So it had been disgorged almost 2 years before I tasted it.

I won' t bore you with tasting notes. This has everything you could want from a Champagne! Power and finesse, vibrating freshness and satisfying ripeness, full on the palate and also long, lingering and so refreshing. Not all Champagne tastes like this, and many others are very good, but this is something special.