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Professional Ratings: 93 Wine Spectator, 93 Wine Enthusiast, 93 Wine & Spirits, 91 The Wine Advocate, 91 International Wine Cellar
Region: Champagne, France
Varietal: Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine
Item no. 18756
The denomination Special Cuvée was created in 1911. The idea came from William Folks, then partner of the illustrious London House of Mentzendorff. This great wine lover felt it was an insult to simply call this great wine "non vintage". The suggestion of naming it "Special Cuvée" was immediately approved by Monsieur Bollinger.
A blend par excellence, the Special Cuvée is the purest expression of the Bollinger style; of its craftsmanship and its singular conception of what a champagne should be. It is, therefore, on this wine that the House of Bollinger shows how it is different from other Champagne Houses, asserts its qualitative policy and by which it asks to be judged.
Very elegant and refined in texture, with fresh, focused acidity finding fine integration with the layered notes of patisserie apple, black currant, smoky mineral and biscuit, complimented by hints of lemon zest and honey. Lingering finish.
Always a rich nonvintage, this latest bottling doesn't disappoint expectations. It has a rich, biscuity character, hints of toast along with pure citrus and fresh apricots. It is ripe, generous, to be drunk with food.
One of Bollinger's great assets is a massive stock of reserve wine, including 600,000 magnums held under cork. Gilles Descotes tends those reserves, working with the blending team to subsume the variations of the current vintage into Bollinger's Special Cuvee by using a majority of reserve wines in the blend. The result is a rich and harmonious Champagne with deep reserves of flavor. Its substantial, formal structure feel polished, its flavors balancing the cool earthiness of a limestone cave and the sunnier, bright floral notes of fresh cream. Built for food, whether emphasizing the freshness with lobster bisque, or the depth of beef Wellington and chanterelles.
The NV Brut Special Cuvee is fabulous. Hints of pears, pastry crust and hazelnut lead to an expansive core of fruit. There is plenty of the signature Bollinger oxidative style in this rich, enveloping Champagne. Once again the Special Cuvee is one of the best Champagnes in its price range. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.
Bright yellow. A complex bouquet evokes poached pear, Meyer lemon, chalky minerals and toasty lees. Fleshy pear and honey flavors show very good depth, picking up refreshing citrus pith and mineral nuances with air. Rich but energetic, with strong finishing cut and lingering spiciness.