Bollinger Champagne Vieilles Vignes Françaises er et unikum. Helt exceptionelt råder Bollinger over tre mikroskopiske parceller (sammmenlagt 0,5 hektar) i Grand Cru-marker, beplantet med upodede, præphylloxera-vinstokke. Ved et rent mirakel lod vinlusen disse vinstokke overleve, da den braklagde Champagnes og de fleste andre af verdens vinmarker i slutningen af 1800-tallet. Vieilles Vignes Françaises laves på 100% Pinot Noir. Grundet vinstokkenes høje alder er udbyttet meget lavt, og produktionen overstiger sjældent 175 kasser pr. år. Vieilles Vignes Françaises kendetegnes ved sin massive koncentration og rigdom, som er uden sidestykke i Champagne. Lagringspotentialet er kolossalt.
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Vieilles Vignes Française is one of Champagne's rarest, most legendary and most distinctive cuvées. It is the product of two tiny plots, Clos Saint- Jacques and Chaudes Terres, together just 0.36 hectares, adjacent to the house within Aÿ, maintained in memory of the way champagne was grown pre-phylloxera: non-grafted and non-trelissed, in the traditional 'en foule' (without order) layering system, worked entirely by hand and sometimes by horse. Dense planting and severe pruning reduces yields by as much as one-third, producing particularly ripe and concentrated juice. It's always the first vineyard that Bollinger harvests, and usually a special dispensation must be requested to harvest before picking is officially open. The aim is to harvest at 11 or 11.5 degrees potential, not over 12 or 13, to create a cuvée of power with personality and yet balance, freshness and approachable drinkability. The first Vieilles Vignes Françaises since 2007, this is a young release for VVF, launched before the 2009 and 2008. I was privileged to join the winemaking team for the dosage trial, tasting 2g/L, 4g/L, 6g/L and 8g/L blind. Every time I experience such an exercise, I am staggered by the profound impact that such small differences in dosage makes, even on a wine as commanding as VVF; 4g/L was their choice (and mine). The sheer confidence of VVF is enrapturing, abounding with the inimitable presence of its unique sites and unusual method. It declares its presence in a full yellow hue, red Burgundy-like expansiveness and a peacock's-tail flourish of theatrical proportions. In volume and sheer persistence it takes champagne to an altogether higher plateau, layered with magnificent complexity of golden delicious apples, golden syrup and ginger, abounding in layers of generosity unexpected at such a young age: truffles, pipe smoke and exotic spice. Its ripeness brings a gentle phenolic texture, which has been expertly controlled, meshing in comfortably with pronounced, fine salt minerality. A VVF of profound strength, if not the fitness of the great seasons.
Champagne Bollinger blev grundlagt i 1829, og er siden blevet et vartegn for kvalitet og luksus. I dag får Bollinger topkarakter over hele linjen.