by Paige Donner (with some translation from French original)
The great vision of Madame Bollinger – A Wine of Expertise
After much contemplation, and repeatedly going back to the drawing board, Madame Lily Bollinger at long last decided on the term Récémment Degorgé for her prestige champagne.
The date was 1963 and it was during this era that the notion of Prestige Cuvées was starting to pick up tempo in Champagne.
Consulting with her American disstribution agent, she decided to release several of her prestige 1947 Réserve bottles onto the market as prestige releases. What followed was nothing short of a small revolution « champenoise ».
Bollinger R.D. 2002 - Time Rarity Boldness
The nose is quince, ripe fruits, a bit of honey. The palate gives way to a carnal encounter, powerful but balanced with great persistence. The finish hints at lemon notes revealing a lovely citrus. Consume at a temp. of 12°C
The highly original idea that Madame Bollinger had at the time was to choose a great – and older - vintage, one that had only recently been disgorged and then give it only the lightest hint of a dosage, not more than an Extra Brut. At the time, this was a daring approach to releasing a new product on the market as consumers then were not accustomed to older vintage champagnes. But she followed her intuition and worked with her team to communicate to her loyal clientele the significance of a late-disgorged champagne.
In a Bollinger R.D. champagne what you will find is the freshness of Grand Cru champagne along with the developed aromas of a vintage champagne, one that you can keep for a long time. It has everything to do with the « Recently Disgorged » aspect, as that is what has allowed the champagne to mature on the lees for more than a decade, in the case of Bollinger R.D.s, and its recent disgorgement also recalibrates its freshness.
Bollinger R.D. is the perfect testament to our everlasting loyalty to Madame Bollinger and her vision for the House of Bollinger Champagne . - Jérôme Philipon, Président de Champagne Bollinger
It was in 1967 that Madame Bollinger and the House finalized the name of R.D. after toying with several others ( Late Disgorged, Late Disgorged Reserve) and retained the title Récémment Degorgé for their prestige label.
Several vintages were released simultaneously on the market that initial year of commercialization : the 1952 to the English market, the 1953 in Switzerland and France, and for the U.S. market and Italy the 1955. It was with the 1959 vintage that the house first did a full-on international release of the prestige cuvée.
This newest R.D. release, the 2002, will stand out among greats. The 2002 vintage in Champagne is one of the best in recent history. For this blend, the house of Bollinger blended 23 crus using 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. 79% are Grand Crus and 21% are Premier Crus. The maturation of this wine is more than 3 times longer than is mandated by the Champagne AOC regulations. The dosage is very light, no more than 3 or 4 gr. per liter thus keeping it very much an Extra Brut.
In addition to the exceptional quality of this champagne, all bottles are handled exclusively by hand. This 2002 release, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Bollinger R.D. prestige cuvée, is available in a case of 6 bottles, a luxury gift box, a magnum and even a limited edition Jerobaum (price upon request).