Bollinger was founded in 1829 by Athanase de Villermont, a descendant of a distinguished French family. Along with partners Joseph Bollinger and Paul Renaudin, they began producing wine in the village of Aÿ in the Champagne region of France.
In 1837, Joseph Bollinger became the sole owner of the company and set out to expand Bollinger's reach and reputation. He started exporting Bollinger Champagnes to the UK and developed a close relationship with the British market, which would prove crucial to Bollinger's success.
Bollinger was recognized as a Champagne of the highest quality and soon gained a good reputation both nationally and internationally. In 1884, Bollinger was awarded a "Royal Warrant" as the official supplier to the British royal household, solidifying their status as Champagne of royal caliber.
Bollinger has always had a strong commitment to preserving and protecting their traditions. They have maintained a unique and extensive wine supply system, where they own the majority of their vineyards.
Today, Bollinger remains a family owned Champagne house, led by Ghislain de Montgolfier, representing the fifth generation of the Bollinger family. The Champagne house has retained its position as one of the most prestigious and recognized brands in the world.
Production of Bollinger Champagne
Bollinger is also known for their traditional production methods, which contribute to creating their unique Champagnes. These production methods include:
Hand harvesting and grape selection:
Bollinger prefers to hand harvest their vineyards to ensure optimal ripeness and quality. The grapes are carefully selected, and only the best are used in the production of their Champagne.
Aging on lees:
A signature practice at Bollinger is extended maturation on the lees. This involves allowing the Champagne to rest on the yeast sediment for an extended period after the second fermentation in the bottle. This process adds complexity and gives both the wine and the mousse a refined creamy texture.
Use of oak barrels:
Oak barrels are used in the production for aging the wine before it is bottled for the second fermentation. Barrel aging also contributes to increasing complexity by balancing the wine and imparting subtle spicy notes.
Bollinger Champagne Cuvées
Bollinger offers different Champagne cuvées, each with its unique character and style. Here is a list of some of Bollinger's most well known cuvées:
Bollinger Special Cuvée:
Special Cuvée is Bollinger's signature Champagne and one of their most popular and well known non-vintage Champagne cuvées worldwide. It is made by blending wines from different vintages and vineyards. Special Cuvée is known for its consistent quality, depth, and complexity.
Bollinger La Grande Année:
La Grande Année is a prestigious vintage Champagne from Bollinger. It is only produced in the finest vintages, as the name suggests, and is made from carefully selected grapes. La Grande Année also undergoes longer aging on the lees before the wine is released and is known for its finesse, elegance, and ability to evolve over many years with further bottle aging.
Bollinger Rosé Champagne:
Bollinger Rosé is an elegant and seductive rosé Champagne, produced in both non-vintage and vintage cuvées. Bollinger Rosé has a fresh and very red fruited character rich in berries and subtle spicy tones, which is classic for Pinot Noir.
Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises:
Vieilles Vignes Françaises is a very rare and exclusive cuvée from Bollinger. It is only made in special vintages with grapes coming from some of the oldest vines in the Champagne region. Vines that have survived the deadly phylloxera vine louse, making the wine's DNA entirely unique. This Champagne expresses exceptional depth, complexity, and finesse.
Bollinger R.D. (Récemment Dégorgé):
R.D. is a Champagne from Bollinger, which, like La Grande Année, is only produced in significant vintages. In fact, the wine is made from the same still wine as La Grande Année and therefore has the same starting point. The difference between the two cuvées is that R.D. matures over several years on the yeast sediment after the second fermentation in the bottle before the wine is disgorged. This is also indicated by the name, which is an abbreviation for "Recently Disgorged." This means that despite the vintage possibly being older, it has been disgorged and released many years later. This vintage cuvée has extraordinary complexity, creamy texture, and unlike La Grande Année, it is ready to drink from release.
Bollinger Champagne 007 Special Edition
As part of the partnership, Bollinger Champagne regularly releases exclusive Bollinger Champagne 007 Limited Edition bottles. These bottles are specially designed to celebrate the release of new James Bond films and are highly sought after by collectors worldwide.
The partnership between Bollinger Champagne and James Bond began back in 1956 in the book "Diamonds are Forever." However, the first reference to Bollinger Champagne in a James Bond film was in 1979 in "Moonraker." In the film, Bollinger Champagne was highlighted as James Bond's preferred Champagne, and from there, he (almost) never looked back.
In almost every James Bond film since "Moonraker," Bollinger Champagne has had a prominent role, and when James Bond opens a bottle of Bollinger Champagne, it signals a special occasion and underscores his sophisticated character. 007 Champagne has become a hallmark, reappearing in connection with both new and old Bond films. Perhaps you can be lucky enough to find 007 Bollinger Champagne on an auction here at ShareWine.
Each of these cuvées from Bollinger has its own unique DNA and flavor profile, reflecting the house's ambition to produce Champagne of the highest quality.
Buy your Bollinger champagne on auction
Here on the ShareWine marketplace, you will almost always find an exciting selection of Bollinger Champagne on auction. The selection is often broader than what you can find elsewhere, as it is private collectors who list their Bollinger Champagnes for sale on the marketplace.