2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

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Mich@el Ch@ng
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2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#1 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » March 11th, 2019, 9:57 am

Anyone try this yet?

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#2 Post by William Kelley » March 11th, 2019, 10:20 am

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 9:57 am
Anyone try this yet?
The wine is being presented as of this week in the US...!
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#3 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » March 11th, 2019, 10:32 am

Yeah wasn’t sure if it was out earlier in Europe

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#4 Post by YLee » March 11th, 2019, 11:10 am

Didnt try yet but did buy.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#5 Post by Brad Baker » March 11th, 2019, 7:13 pm

I thought the official launch from Bollinger at the winery was next week, but they might be doing some other events prior. There have been sneak peaks and hype is high. I haven't tried it, but hope they have solved the oxidation issues (due to a mishandling of a low SO2 pursuit - especially at disgorgement) that have messed with many recent releases IMO.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#6 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » March 11th, 2019, 7:27 pm

I just bought one, it’s not my fav producer, but it seems like a decent value.

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#7 Post by Mike Hawkins » March 11th, 2019, 7:56 pm

Brad Baker wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 7:13 pm
I thought the official launch from Bollinger at the winery was next week, but they might be doing some other events prior. There have been sneak peaks and hype is high. I haven't tried it, but hope they have solved the oxidation issues (due to a mishandling of a low SO2 pursuit - especially at disgorgement) that have messed with many recent releases IMO.
Agreed..for this reason I stopped buying it

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#8 Post by Robert M yers » March 11th, 2019, 8:30 pm

Thanks for the heads up on that, I was just thinking it might be a value for the vintage.

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#9 Post by Tom Reddick » March 11th, 2019, 8:48 pm

Brad Baker wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 7:13 pm
I thought the official launch from Bollinger at the winery was next week, but they might be doing some other events prior. There have been sneak peaks and hype is high. I haven't tried it, but hope they have solved the oxidation issues (due to a mishandling of a low SO2 pursuit - especially at disgorgement) that have messed with many recent releases IMO.
I was not aware of this. The 2004 and 2007 I tried did not seem affected. Could you elaborate Brad or point to a thread where you did so previously? Curious to know what to watch for as I was planning to take a very strong position in the 2008s when they get here. Specifically curious to know if I am likely safe buying out of whatever parcel gets delivered here if I find the tasting bottle to be in order.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#10 Post by Brad Baker » March 11th, 2019, 9:42 pm

Tom,

I haven't had the 2008 so I can't speak on this release, but the summary is that a few years ago Bollinger decided to reduce their use of SO2 and in doing so decided to concentrate most on the disgorgement process which is the weakest link IMO. If you are going to disgorge, not always jet, and suddenly not use SO2 on a wine that has seen SO2 throughout the process, you are asking for trouble and variability. I have had quite a bit of variability on all vintages post-2002 and all RDs from 1999 onwards (some of the later releases of 2002 were also disappointing IMO).
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#11 Post by Tom Reddick » March 11th, 2019, 9:44 pm

Brad Baker wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 9:42 pm
Tom,

I haven't had the 2008 so I can't speak on this release, but the summary is that a few years ago Bollinger decided to reduce their use of SO2 and in doing so decided to concentrate most on the disgorgement process which is the weakest link IMO. If you are going to disgorge, not always jet, and suddenly not use SO2 on a wine that has seen SO2 throughout the process, you are asking for trouble and variability. I have had quite a bit of variability on all vintages post-2002 and all RDs from 1999 onwards (some of the later releases of 2002 were also disappointing IMO).
Wow. Thank you for the additional detail. I will proceed with caution.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#12 Post by Craig G » March 11th, 2019, 10:24 pm

Brad Baker wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 7:13 pm
I thought the official launch from Bollinger at the winery was next week, but they might be doing some other events prior. There have been sneak peaks and hype is high. I haven't tried it, but hope they have solved the oxidation issues (due to a mishandling of a low SO2 pursuit - especially at disgorgement) that have messed with many recent releases IMO.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#13 Post by Jeremy Holmes » March 11th, 2019, 10:54 pm

2004 Grande Année last night was oxidised.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#14 Post by Otto Forsberg » March 11th, 2019, 11:11 pm

Jeremy Holmes wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 10:54 pm
2004 Grande Année last night was oxidised.
This reminded me of one tasting where a few people called out LGA (can't remember vintage, probably 2002 or 2004) oxidized after a few very zippy and youthful Blanc de Blancs and other classic Champagne blends.

Most of the people - who were aware of the LGA style - thought the wine was still very youthful and still going uphill for a long time.

I haven't had one single oxidized Bollinger to this date, but I've had a few wines that have been conspicuously mute and very underwhelming compared to the typical burly, muscular style of the house. I have wondered if that's one of the issues resulting from the low SO2 of Bolly?

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#15 Post by Russell Faulkner » March 12th, 2019, 12:22 am

I gave up on this house a long time ago. Not my style and I don’t like the way the 96/98/99 went.

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#16 Post by Robert M yers » March 12th, 2019, 12:22 am

If it’s to the point Brad says then why wouldn’t they try and pull bottles from distro. That would be a brand killer if widespread.

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#17 Post by William Kelley » March 12th, 2019, 6:50 am

Brad Baker wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 7:13 pm
I thought the official launch from Bollinger at the winery was next week, but they might be doing some other events prior. There have been sneak peaks and hype is high. I haven't tried it, but hope they have solved the oxidation issues (due to a mishandling of a low SO2 pursuit - especially at disgorgement) that have messed with many recent releases IMO.
No, the winery release is actually today IIRC!
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#18 Post by Brad Baker » March 12th, 2019, 9:03 am

Robert M yers wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 12:22 am
If it’s to the point Brad says then why wouldn’t they try and pull bottles from distro. That would be a brand killer if widespread.
Robert,

Some people like the style. I find recent releases to show a lot of variation. Sometimes you get show lush, in-your-face aromas and flavors, other times dullness and emptiness, and you can also get bottles with too much oxidation. That is my opinion, but others will disagree.

If you look at a couple recent releases, they held off on releasing the 2000 RD (outside of a few hundred jeroboams) and downgraded the 2006 Grande Annee Rose. Bollinger is out for quality and they are one of the few big names who will actually refuse grapes at harvest if the desired quality isn't there. They are doing a lot of good things, but I question how they are going after SO2 reduction as I think it has changed their wines in a not-so-good way.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#19 Post by Robert M yers » March 12th, 2019, 9:06 am

Ah ok, I was taking it as more of a flaw than a style issue. But still, inconsistent showings would be problematic for me.

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#20 Post by Doug Schulman » March 12th, 2019, 9:43 am

Has Bollinger said they've done anything to address the problems? It seems like they've turned a blind eye for quite some time. I love their wines, but I definitely wouldn't be buying any to age until I know they've changed their disgorgement process.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#21 Post by Neal.Mollen » March 12th, 2019, 10:12 am

Brad, while I have you, what's the word on the 2008 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Millésimé?
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#22 Post by Brad Baker » March 12th, 2019, 3:22 pm

Robert M yers wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 9:06 am
Ah ok, I was taking it as more of a flaw than a style issue. But still, inconsistent showings would be problematic for me.
Robert,

I would call it a flaw, but others would call it a style issue or even a 'value add'. Depends on your view. I love the wines of Selosse and the style they show, but what I call the attractive style of Anselme and Guillaume's wines, others call a flaw.

Doug Schulman wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 9:43 am
Has Bollinger said they've done anything to address the problems? It seems like they've turned a blind eye for quite some time. I love their wines, but I definitely wouldn't be buying any to age until I know they've changed their disgorgement process.
Doug,

Bollinger hasn't acknowledged they have a problem and isn't all that open to discussing it. I believe they are trying to remedy things and it has to do with figuring out how to appropriately reduce SO2 (when to use and how much) mixed with jetting. To date, their attempts to remove SO2 at disgorgement and jet have not been successful IMO, but I know they are working to get things right even if they won't talk much about it because, after all, there is no problem...
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#23 Post by Brad Baker » March 12th, 2019, 3:34 pm

Neal.Mollen wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 10:12 am
Brad, while I have you, what's the word on the 2008 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Millésimé?
Neal,

I like it, but think it needs time and could have used a bit more dosage to highlight the fruit. It should age well, but to me it is right at the point where you really have to look at price. This goes for $65-$75 in Champagne and it delivers at that price point, but there are other 2008s that deliver more for less. Also, I am not sure where they are going to target things price-wise in the US.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#24 Post by YLee » March 12th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Russell Faulkner wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 12:22 am
I gave up on this house a long time ago. Not my style and I don’t like the way the 96/98/99 went.
I recently purchased the '99. What about it did you not like?
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#25 Post by Neal.Mollen » March 12th, 2019, 4:16 pm

Brad Baker wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 3:34 pm
Neal.Mollen wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 10:12 am
Brad, while I have you, what's the word on the 2008 Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Millésimé?
Neal,

I like it, but think it needs time and could have used a bit more dosage to highlight the fruit. It should age well, but to me it is right at the point where you really have to look at price. This goes for $65-$75 in Champagne and it delivers at that price point, but there are other 2008s that deliver more for less. Also, I am not sure where they are going to target things price-wise in the US.
Thanks Brad. Envoyer had it today for $70. When do we get a CW on the value 2008s? [cheers.gif]
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#26 Post by Russell Faulkner » March 12th, 2019, 8:10 pm

YLee wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Russell Faulkner wrote:
March 12th, 2019, 12:22 am
I gave up on this house a long time ago. Not my style and I don’t like the way the 96/98/99 went.
I recently purchased the '99. What about it did you not like?
Heavy, clunky, bruised apple. Your bottles may well be better though.

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#27 Post by Jay $$ Winton » March 13th, 2019, 6:48 am

2004 GA rose showed well at a recent tasting I attended. Full bodied but needs time to show its best, IMO.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#28 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » March 13th, 2019, 10:57 am

I've posted here for at least five or six years that Bollinger has become a train wreck with regard to aging. They produced such great and age worthy wines in the '60's and '70's. I bought small quantities of '02 and '04 Bollinger and only in magnum. Have just a couple of '02's left and I will open those this year and finish my mags of '04's over the next year.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#29 Post by Doug Schulman » March 13th, 2019, 1:22 pm

That’s sad, Ray. I know you’ve mentioned that several times, as have a couple of other people. Tom Stevenson even wrote about it in World of Fine Wine several years ago. Yet Bollinger refuses to acknowledge the problem.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#30 Post by Brad Baker » March 13th, 2019, 6:04 pm

I think the real problems with Bollinger (for both NV and vintage wines) started with the wines disgorged 2013/2014. This is when I noticed the wines became quite variable with a lot of bottles showing either way too much oxidation or a dull, lifeless personality. A lot of the vintages in the 90s and early 2000s were precocious and much better enjoyed in their youthful vigor or the first 5-10 years after release. This was quite a change from the past, but I don't think the quality dropped; I just think the style changed and they peaked earlier. Of course, if you are looking for the classic, aged Champagne characteristics that Bollinger was once so well known for, you were (are) not going to get them anymore. It all depends on what you are looking for.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#31 Post by etomasi » March 13th, 2019, 6:47 pm

ok, so if you love the Bollinger style, what champagne are people buying instead?
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#32 Post by Brad Baker » March 13th, 2019, 7:40 pm

Bollinger's style is all its own, but a couple that spring to mind that are are still values are Charles Heidsieck (although quite a bit more smooth and creamy) and Alfred Gratien (although a bit more spicy).
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#33 Post by etomasi » March 13th, 2019, 8:59 pm

Brad Baker wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 7:40 pm
Bollinger's style is all its own, but a couple that spring to mind that are are still values are Charles Heidsieck (although quite a bit more smooth and creamy) and Alfred Gratien (although a bit more spicy).
Thanks! I already buy Heidsieck, but I havent tried Gratien (that I remember).
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#34 Post by Tom Reddick » March 13th, 2019, 9:55 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 10:57 am
I've posted here for at least five or six years that Bollinger has become a train wreck with regard to aging. They produced such great and age worthy wines in the '60's and '70's. I bought small quantities of '02 and '04 Bollinger and only in magnum. Have just a couple of '02's left and I will open those this year and finish my mags of '04's over the next year.
Could this in part explain ageability issues with the Vieilles Vignes Francaises over and above it being 100% Pinot? I ask in large part because Krug Ambonnay, while it certainly seems to develop faster than the other Krug wines, does not seem to be in danger of going over the hill in anywhere near the time frame of the VVF.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#35 Post by Otto Forsberg » March 13th, 2019, 11:54 pm

etomasi wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 8:59 pm
Brad Baker wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 7:40 pm
Bollinger's style is all its own, but a couple that spring to mind that are are still values are Charles Heidsieck (although quite a bit more smooth and creamy) and Alfred Gratien (although a bit more spicy).
Thanks! I already buy Heidsieck, but I havent tried Gratien (that I remember).
Heidsieck is definitely a reliable house and one of my favorites among the Grande Marques. Gratien can be great and some vintages age very well, but some wines can be quite underwhelming and simple compared to the often more burly and complex Bollinger style.

Stylistically Heidsieck is definitely as toasty as Bollinger, but in a somewhat brighter style, lacking the oxidative depth that comes from the oak barrels (Bollinger uses oak, Heidsieck only stainless steel). If you like that nutty, Burgundian undertone in your Champagnes, there are some outstanding small producers making Champange in that vinous, barrel-aged style similar to Bollinger. Marguet, Francis Boulard, Benoit Lahaye and Charlot-Tanneux pop into my mind immediately.

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#36 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » March 14th, 2019, 8:53 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 9:55 pm
R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 10:57 am
I've posted here for at least five or six years that Bollinger has become a train wreck with regard to aging. They produced such great and age worthy wines in the '60's and '70's. I bought small quantities of '02 and '04 Bollinger and only in magnum. Have just a couple of '02's left and I will open those this year and finish my mags of '04's over the next year.
Could this in part explain ageability issues with the Vieilles Vignes Francaises over and above it being 100% Pinot? I ask in large part because Krug Ambonnay, while it certainly seems to develop faster than the other Krug wines, does not seem to be in danger of going over the hill in anywhere near the time frame of the VVF.
I think it compounds the issue. Recently a friend brought a bottle of '04 VVF to lunch which he purchased on release and it was already a little past its prime. That said, the couple of '96 VVF's I've had in the past couple of years were still fresh and going strong.
About ten years ago a group of us did a comprehensive VVF vertical and almost all, if not all of the older ones were dead or dying. And remember, I love good examples of 50 year old Champagne. Brad - I think you were at that dinner?
My experience is that since 1988, Bollinger Vintage has aged much quicker than its peers and it had in the past. I can't speak to variability of wines disgorged starting in 2013/2014 since I have no experience with them (other than a few bottles of '04 which may have been disgorged around that time).
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#37 Post by William Kelley » March 14th, 2019, 9:15 am

etomasi wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 6:47 pm
ok, so if you love the Bollinger style, what champagne are people buying instead?
Saint-Chamant in Epernay make wines that are very much to the "goût Anglais".

But I wouldn't take the 2008 Grande Année off your shopping list just yet.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#38 Post by David Glasser » March 14th, 2019, 9:36 am

I've got 1 bottle each of the 2002 Bollinger GA and RD that I was planning to open together for a friend. Do I need to do that this year?

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#39 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » March 14th, 2019, 11:15 am

David Glasser wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 9:36 am
I've got 1 bottle each of the 2002 Bollinger GA and RD that I was planning to open together for a friend. Do I need to do that this year?
I don't see any upside to not opening them sooner rather than later.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#40 Post by YLee » March 14th, 2019, 4:14 pm

I feel $118 for '08 Grande Annee is not much of risk to buy and try.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#41 Post by David Glasser » March 14th, 2019, 7:53 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 11:15 am
David Glasser wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 9:36 am
I've got 1 bottle each of the 2002 Bollinger GA and RD that I was planning to open together for a friend. Do I need to do that this year?
I don't see any upside to not opening them sooner rather than later.
Thanks Ray. Will pull them for a dinner in April and post notes.

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#42 Post by jcoley3 » March 14th, 2019, 7:57 pm

William Kelley wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 9:15 am
etomasi wrote:
March 13th, 2019, 6:47 pm
ok, so if you love the Bollinger style, what champagne are people buying instead?
Saint-Chamant in Epernay make wines that are very much to the "goût Anglais".

But I wouldn't take the 2008 Grande Année off your shopping list just yet.
Nice value in an 08 as well. (Saint Chamant)
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#43 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » March 18th, 2019, 7:22 am

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 11:15 am
David Glasser wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 9:36 am
I've got 1 bottle each of the 2002 Bollinger GA and RD that I was planning to open together for a friend. Do I need to do that this year?
I don't see any upside to not opening them sooner rather than later.
Ray and others - do your feelings about the age-ability train wreck apply equally to the rose?

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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#44 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » March 18th, 2019, 1:16 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
March 18th, 2019, 7:22 am
R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 11:15 am
David Glasser wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 9:36 am
I've got 1 bottle each of the 2002 Bollinger GA and RD that I was planning to open together for a friend. Do I need to do that this year?
I don't see any upside to not opening them sooner rather than later.
Ray and others - do your feelings about the age-ability train wreck apply equally to the rose?
I don't drink many aged examples of Rose Champagne with the occasional exception of DP Rose. So, I have little to no experience with aged Bollinger Rose. Already finished all of my '04 Bolly Rose. Sorry not to be of help.
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Re: 2008 Bollinger Grande Annee

#45 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » March 18th, 2019, 1:24 pm

R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 18th, 2019, 1:16 pm
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
March 18th, 2019, 7:22 am
R@y.Tupp@+sch wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 11:15 am


I don't see any upside to not opening them sooner rather than later.
Ray and others - do your feelings about the age-ability train wreck apply equally to the rose?
I don't drink many aged examples of Rose Champagne with the occasional exception of DP Rose. So, I have little to no experience with aged Bollinger Rose. Already finished all of my '04 Bolly Rose. Sorry not to be of help.
No worries, appreciate it. I haven't bought much Bollinger at all in the '00s, but did get a case of the 2007 rose. Notes on it are good still, so likely it's a matter of making sure we drink it soon.

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