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Bollinger R.D.

Cracka Value Rating
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Cracka Review

Bollinger RD is the king of Champagnes and this is without doubt the years most anticipated Champagne release. Marking the 50th anniversary of Bolly RD from the great 2002 vintage, with less than hundred cases for Australia, it is a gorgeous vintage Champagne that will drink well for decades. Layers of powerful, complex fruit in a voluptuous package brilliantly balanced with zesty acidity. It already drinks beautifully but with almost unbelievable staying power it will sing for years to come.   

"Since the year 1990 made vintage wines from Bollinger in a little fruitier more peach-scented style with slightly less pronounced smokiness and nuttiness. I was always more impressed initially by the previous style, but it feels like the differences even out over time. 2002 shows lovely shy notes of peaches and honey. It hasn’t developed it’s typical masses of RD-character yet. In the mouth this R.D. is typically oily and rich with notes of Champignon de Paris (!), Verzenay-dominated, stringent aroma of red apple peel. The taste is beautifully balance and harmonious. I love to drink R.D.s between 18 and 24 months after release. This is a Champagne that really benefits from being served in a Burgundy glass(!) As always this is a Champagne for true gastronomy. Like the tartar of deer and oyster mayonnaise and lemon zest that we we’re served at the premiere-lunch in Stockholm. This is a grand R.D. in the making."

94-96 points, Richard Juhlin,

Winemaker's Notes

R.D. Récemment Dégorgé (Recently Disgorged) is unique both in its concept and style. An expert wine with aromas enhanced by its extended maturation, more than three times longer than required by the appellation.  Only the very best among vintage champagnes become Bollinger R.D.

Appearance: Golden with subtle highlights.

Nose: Aromas of stewed ripe fruit, particularly quince, but also a discreet note of honey. These are followed by roasted notes and cocoa, which give way to flavours of star anise and nutmeg.

Palate: Full-bodied attack. Powerful but well-balanced, with persistent flavour. Mineral finish with touches of lemon revealing a pleasing bitterness.

Food: All types of risotto, especially mushrooms or truffle risotto. Venison. Old Comté or Swiss Gruyère

Cellaring: Bollinger R.D. can be enjoyed right away to appreciate the exceptional freshness due to its recent disgorging; you may also choose to let it mature further: its ageing potential is endless. 

2002 Blend: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay.
23 crus: 71% Grands crus, 29% Premiers crus.

expert reviews about

Bollinger R.D.

Expert Reviews

Matthew Jukes & Tyson Stelzer (2002 Vintage) says
The nose is nothing short of awesome.  It shows remarkable restraint and focus in spite of its exotic florals, warm brioche and faint canelé notes, all straining to be let loose (this will happen with age).   There is an impeccably clean and sleek chassis here, very long, tubular and with great density of flavour.  It travels across the tongue like a powder-coated titanium lozenge rather than a broader, antique, galleon of years gone by.  The finish brings the senses back to familiar R.D. territory with a whoosh of bitter orange and honey.  While this lithe, muscular wine seems to be lighter than past vintages it isn’t.  It is an illusion.  2002 R.D. is fit to burst with nervous energy.  This is, in effect, the ultimate ‘catapult wine’.  Bollinger pulls the rope back during the aging process and then releases the payload, hurling the flavour forward on release.  All too often préstige cuvée Champagnes are slack and lacking in momentum.  2002 R.D. is going somewhere fast.  All you have to do is flick the catch.  Later on, when I drank it with chicken and chips, the flavour responded immediately and brought it alive with terrific vivacity and increased horse power.   There is a power to weight ratio in this vinous work of art that no other white wines on the planet can match.  As the wine opened up, layers and layers of fruit emerged, swathed in musky scent and wild honey.  This is a classic R.D. with a remarkably reined-in introduction and a rip-roaring final handshake.
Tyson Stelzer (2002 Vintage) says
Marking the 50th anniversary of R.D. (‘recently disgorged’), R.D. 2002 is a rerelease of Bollinger’s magnificent and enduring La Grande Année 2002, a detail that the house is keen to downplay. An extra few years on lees and half the dosage offer even greater focus and precision on the finish. The streamlined energy, shimmering minerality and lemon zest brilliance of 2002 hones the grand depth and creamy silkiness of Bollinger’s barrel-fermented personality in layers of brioche, dried pear, Christmas pudding and ginger nut biscuits. A monumental R.D. but the enduring 2002 season yearns for another decade yet to show its full magnificence. This begs the question of whether a few more years on lees and lower dosage are worth $400, when La Grande Année 2002 is still on the shelves for as little as $185. Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot follow a similar recipe and command such price premiums for their Oenothèque and Cave Privée releases, but with significantly more lees age.
2022 to 2032.
Angus Hughson (1996 Vintage) says
For those whom remember the 1996 La Grande Anne, on which this wine is based, you will surely recall its beguiling aromas, lusty power and finish to die for. The 1996 RD was disgorged on December 22 2006 giving it a further 3 years on lees and a decade in total slowly developing an impressive and decadent array of flavours at a snails pace. But it is still incredibly young; still just a babe, and made for the long haul.

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