Bollinger’s RD 2004 offers ‘incomparable freshness for such age’

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Drinks: Champagne

After 13 years ageing in its cellars in Reims, Bollinger has released its 2004 RD.

After the tightly-wound, violin-string acidity of the previous RD, from the 2002 vintage, the latest release is a lot more open.

Chef de Cave Gilles Descôtes described it as ‘a generous wine, with intense aromas and an incomparable freshness for such age’.

Two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay, 88% of the fruit is sourced from Grand Cru vineyards, with the remainder coming from Premier Cru. It has a dosage of 3g/litre.

RD stands for ‘recently disgorged’, and the wine is defined by its lengthy ageing in the bottle. The first RD, released in 1967, was from the 1952 vintage, and there have been only 25 releases since then.

Bollinger is renowned for its use of oak, and all of the RD base wine is barrel-fermented. Richly textured, but refreshing, the wine is very food-friendly.

‘We sold our last bottle of Bollinger RD 1997 late last year,’ says James Payne, sommelier at Fonab Castle. ‘I had recommended it to accompany the whole meal in the way a fine mature still wine would, given the significant added complexity and savouriness that later/recent disgorgement brings to the wine. To drink a bottle over a meal allows those imbibing to appreciate it’s character in full, sip by sip.

‘The opportunities to sell late-disgorged, high-end vintage Champagne are few and far between, and therefore made all the more exciting when they do come by.’

The wine retails to the public at £180; price to the trade is available on application through Mentzendorff.

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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