Champagne it can be wonderful but Bollinger is absolutely fabulous!

Madame Lily Bollinger once wrote; I drink champagne when I'm happy and when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I am alone. In company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry & drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty!

The House of Bollinger was established by Jacques Bollinger in 1829 and the business is still in family hands to this day. A testament I think to their dedication and commitment to preserving the high quality standard that has always been 'Bolli'.

With 400 acres of vines providing only enough grapes for 60-70% of their needs they have long-term contracts with growers only ever buying grapes or juice to make sure everything is up to standard. Using only the 'Cuvee' [first pressing] from each 4000kgs of fruit the juice of each vineyard site is kept separate and using old oak casks they make a simple wine. These old casks 'give and take' aiding the maturation, such that each area and cask takes on their own character and taste.

Then comes the blending or Cuvee - yes it can get confusing - and many think this is the most important part of the process. Using, maybe, 30 different 'parcels' of wine for each blend or 'marque', the reputation of 'The House' stands or lies at this stage. Once in bottle, a minimum of 3 years is given for Special Cuvee with 5 years and more for Grand Année and the other Vintage,'grander' Wines.

After all this time comes 'rémuage' [known as riddling in USA] to separate the dead yeast from the bottom of the bottle and then the last intrinsic secret, the Reserve Wines are added. These aged wines, kept in Magnums and under natural cork for 5 - 12 years, are the finishing touch to completing the final act so that every bottle of Bollinger is as exciting and complex as the last. After yet another 3 months for the bottles to settle the wine is ready to be shipped to the four corners of the world where Bollinger continues to be enjoyed by countless lovers of good Champagne.

You cannot buy time but you can buy Bollinger. See their website at
http://www.champagne-bollinger.com/

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