Wine of the Week #1522: 2002 Bollinger R.D.

[ 2002 Bollinger R.D. ]

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[ Why We Love It: ]

The 2002 vintage of Bollinger R.D. is particularly sought-after and collectible, both for it’s remarkable quality as well as for the fact that it marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of this now iconic Champagne. In 1967, many customers and distributors had begun encouraging Madame Bollinger to produce a “reserve” wine as an addition to the celebrated and successful non-vintage “Special Cuvee”. As was so often the case throughout her career at the helm of this family Champagne business, Madame Bollinger boldly embraced this challenge in a way that would shape the future of her family firm – and the Champagne trade as a whole.

In creating R.D. (which stands for Récemment Dégorgé, or Recently Disgorged) Madame Bollinger created not only an extraordinary and special addition to the Bollinger line-up, but a whole new category and style of Champagne. Disgorgement is the process of removing dead yeast cells from the bottle – a process that usually follows shortly after the secondary fermentation which creates the bubbles in bubbly. In producing Bollinger R.D., these yeast cells (or lees) are left in the bottle for an extended period, which in turn preserves a certain youthfulness and vibrancy in the wine.

The result is singular style and expression of Bollinger which today ranks amongst the most sought-after Champagnes on the market. In addition to this special treatment and extended aging ahead of release, Bollinger R.D. is the product of the very best vineyards (71% of them Grand Crus) and a high proportion of Pinot Noir. These three key ingredients – extended aging on the lees, exceptional terroir, and a Pinot Noir dominated blend – combine to yield an elegant wine which pairs perfectly with decadent and luxurious fare.

[ Recipes & Food Pairings: ]

Truffle + Champagne Risotto w/ Lobster + Scallops – RECIPE

Pappardelle w/ Mushrooms, Ricotta & Walnuts – RECIPE

Comte Cheese Souffle – RECIPE

[ Price: ]

BOTTLE: $299

CASE: $897


[ Technical Specs: ]

ALCOHOL: 12.5%


Case Pack: 3 x 750mL

GRAPES: 60% Pinot Noir + 40% Chardonnay

CLOSURE: Natural Cork

CELLAR POTENTIAL: 10 years (or more)

SERVING TEMPERATURE: 10 to 12 degrees C

DOSAGE: 3-4 g/L

[ Tasting Notes: ]

“Super fresh, this is striking given the 10 years in the cellars; it has a fine citrus nose – plenty of lemon, grapefruit, yellow chalky notes, some lighter floral elements too. The palate is super dry (dosage at 3-4g) and there’s a silky, sherbet-like texture, smooth, fine and long. The citrus flavours give way to the driving surging acidity, thunderous acidity, really driving and powerful. The finish twists very slowly through to light-toasted cashew fruit flavours, but lemon citrus prevails. This is thrilling Champagne. Disgorged 22nd October, 2013. Drink from 2016.”

99 / 100 Points

James Suckling /

“Bollinger’s 2002 R.D. is striking in its beauty. Silky and caressing on the palate, the 2002 impresses for its exceptional balance and harmony. In 2002 so many Champagnes are ripe and explosive in style, but the 2002 R.D. is quite restrained by comparison. Hints of apricot pit, smoke, almonds, spices and pears ring out on the super-finessed, inviting finish. The 2002 is going to be nearly impossible to resist in its youth, but it should also age impeccably. All the elements are in the right place. Dosage is 3-4 grams per liter.”

96 / 100 Points

Antonio Galloni /

Wine of the Week #1522: 2002 Bollinger R.D.

[ TAGS: ]

#Champagne #Sparkling Wine #Bollinger #France


More about Andrew Hanna

Pulling corks and pushing cases as a third generation wine importer in Ontario, Canada selling fine wines and spirits produced by families - not factories. Get the full story at

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