Bollinger 2002

There have been several reports on this cuvée, and the consensus has been pretty much one of universal adoration. Never one to shirk being a touch mischievous with a sprinkle of iconoclast, I was ready to be critical. I was also grievously hungover and sleep-deprived when I tried this. None of it worked; this wine charmed me utterly, and sits with Dom Perignon 1996 as one of the finest 'young' Champagnes I've ever drunk.

Deep, yet youthful gold. Slow, big bubbles.

The nose is rich, biscuity, toasty, bright and with edges of strawberries and apples. There's also a touch of chalk dust and roast citrus. Very rich. Heady. Hugely enticing. Coconut flakes and marzipan come out with coaxing.

Toffee apples and baked lemons kick things off, bursting at the front of the palate but the back of the tongue, if that makes any sense. That rich, luscious fruit is surrounded by brioche and shortbread with a subtle note of strawberries on the edges. It is mouth coating, filling every nook and cranny of the palate and ranging from sweet to almost brine-y at points, with oyster shell grip and texture. This is, I'm pretty sure, worth every ounce of hype it has received. Stunning champagne.


Tasted 14/05/2011 for Anne-Martine's birthday.