La Grande Année is Bollinger’s prestige champagne and is only produced when the harvest reaches a perfect balance: it is Bollinger’s version of an exceptional vintage. The grapes are taken exclusively from 13 Cru sites, 95% of which are Grand Cru and 5% of which are Premier Cru. Bollinger uses only the ‘cuvée’ juice in the making of La Grande Année, creating the purest style. The first fermentation is always carried out 100% in old oak barrels and the wine is aged on its lees for a minimum of 5 years, often more. After manual riddling and disgorging, the wine rests for a minimum of 3 months prior to release. 2005 was a temperate and generous year and revealed a champagne with great aromatic ripeness.
It is a delicate colour and golden reflections are a sign of the wine’s maturity and Bollinger’s wine-making methods. The nose has great complexity; honey, gingerbread and cinnamon aromas; subtle notes of dried fruits (hazelnut) and dried flowers (lime blossom). On the palate, the wine is mature, supple and full with a long finish exhibiting flavours of pastry, candied orange and ripe fruits, with subtle notes of woodland and vanilla. A creamy effervescence; the subtle acidity of the finish adds freshness.