The 2014 La Grande Annee is stunning. In fact, it is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. What comes through most is the wine s sizzling energy and tension, qualities that aren t often associated with Bollinger, where the Champagnes tend to show more breadth and volume. In 2014, readers will find a Grande Annee built on linear intensity and drive. The 2014 is a blend taken from 19 villages, 61% Pinot Noir and 39% Chardonnay instead of the more typical 70/30 mix. For the second time in two decades (the first was 2007), Verzenay takes the lead in the Pinots over Ay, more or less an inverse from the norm. Verzenay, a north-facing village in the Montagne de Reims that saw less rain than Ay and most of the Vallee de la Marne, yields Pinots of energy more than volume. That, married with Chardonnays mostly from the Cotes des Blancs (predominantly Chouilly, Vertus, Oiry and Cramant), results in a truly magical Grande Annee that will delight Champagne fans for several decades. I can t recommend the 2014 highly enough. It s a total knock-out. Disgorged: April, 2021. Dosage: 8 grams per liter.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2044
Robert Parker 95
Offering up complex aromas of crisp yellow orchard fruit, confit citrus, frangipane, walnuts, dried white flowers and subtle hints of iodine, Bollinger’s 2014 Brut La Grande Annee is medium to full-bodied, pillowy and vinous, with an elegantly fleshy core of fruit that’s underpinned by racy acids and complemented by a pretty pinpoint mousse. Concluding with a long, chalky finish, this is a charming but precise Grande Annee that’s more giving and demonstrative than its immediate predecessor, the 2012, but which attains a very similar level of quality in a more challenging vintage testimony to the serious viticulture that underpins Bollinger’s contemporary excellence.