jamie goode's wine blog: Hard at work at the Bollinger lunch

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hard at work at the Bollinger lunch

A bit of a treat today. Bollinger lunch at Bruce Poole's fantastic restaurant Chez Bruce. There was a good turnout, as you might expect - someone commented that if a bomb had been placed in the restaurant, it would have taken out a sizeable portion of the UK wine press.

The food was extraordinarily good, and the fizz didn't disappoint. We kicked off with Bollinger's '2003' - a unique wine reflecting the rather unique weather conditions of that growing season. Atypical for Bollinger: light, fruity and quite expressive. A bit like a top notch new world fizz.

Ghislain de Montgolfier then gave a short speech, in which he mentioned how 2007 is shaping up. Apparently, we're looking at the earliest harvest in recent memory, because of the exceptionally hot April that led to early flowering. As long as nothing disastrous happens before late August, it should be a good one, too.

Bolling Cuvee Special followed, and this was really singing: back to the distinctive house style, that's quite intense, toasty, rich and yet fresh and balanced. The Grande Annee 1997 is a wine I've had a couple of times before and really liked. It's fresh, intense, concentrated and a little bit edgy, with good complexity. Then a rare chance to try the Vieilles Vignes Francaises 1999, of which we drank a good half of the UK's annual allocation between us (it's 12-18 bottles a year). This is quite different: rounded, complex, broad, thought-provoking. Finally, the 1995 RD is a bit of a stern beast. It's just so full-on, with massive acidity, massive flavour, massive savouriness. It will probably last a very long time - drunk now, it needs food.
Pictured: Stephen Brook (left) is entranced by Jim Budd's (foreground) shirt. Neil Beckett is also in the picture.

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At 5:27 AM, Blogger Paul Tudor said...

What is the collective noun for wine writers? A "sponge"? Anyway, I am surprised at the low allocation for Vieilles Vignes... I remember enjoying quite a lot of 1989 some years ago at a Bollinger function in Auckland. Still, Grande Annee has to be one of my favourite wines, period.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Douglas Blyde said...

-'A sponge'(!)

And not a spittoon in site.

I find that people in the wine trade are accused of being drunk with unerring frequency. I've given up trying to pretend otherwise, answering: "yes, I'm frankly paralytic" to whoops of laughter...


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