Disgorged on July 10 2020 with three grams per liter dosage Bollinger's eagerly awaited 2007 Extra-Brut R. D. is beautiful unwinding in the glass with aromas of crisp orchard fruit citrus pith and white flowers mingled with hints of honey orange oil buttery pastry English walnuts and delicately spicy bass notes. Full-bodied vibrant and incisive it's unusually elegant and structurally fine-boned for what is routinely one of Champagne's more muscular tête de cuvées with a bright spine of acidity that's cloaked in vibrant concentrated fruit complemented by a pearly pinpoint mousse and concluding with an intensely sapid finish. Long and penetrating this is a tightly coiled R. D. that will reward bottle age. The fruit of an early harvest beginning on September 1st Bollinger's superb 2007 R. D. is an unusually delicate fine-boned rendition of this habitually muscular cuvée. An additional seven years on the lees has brought additional textural and amplitude to the acid spine that was already evident in the 2007 Grande Année and the slight loss of pressure during aging on cork makes for a more refined pearly mousse that complements the wine's enhanced texture and amplified sapid nuance. Fermented in used oak cooperage with tirage under natural cork and disgorgement without added sulfur dioxide (but now with jetting to ensure consistency) it's one of the few tête de cuvée bottlings still made very much as it was 40 years ago. While I don't tend to comment on packaging Bollinger's decision to revive the tasteful aluminum label that graced this cuvée's debut 1952 rendition when the redoubtable Madame Lilly Bollinger still presided over this house does underscore what is a real and not merely superficial commitment to artisanal traditions.
Bollinger’s 2007 R.D. is superb but it is also a wine that reflects the nature of a unique and challenging growing season. In most vintages the R.D. is marked by the distinct creaminess and breadth of Aÿ Pinot Noir. Two thousand seven though was a difficult year marked by very dry weather rain at the end of the growing season and an early harvest in August something that was not as common as it has become. Selection was essential. For the 2007 the blend is composed of just 14 villages compared to the more typical 18-25. Verzenay is the main Pinot component while Cramant plays the leading role in the Chardonnays. For these reasons the 2007 is an R.D. driven by more focus energy and tension than readers are used to seeing. Lemon confit dried flowers sage mint crushed rocks almond and ginger are some of the aromas and flavors that give the 2007 its complex multi-faceted personality. The 2007 can be enjoyed now but I would prefer to cellar it for a few years. It will age effortlessly for decades as it moves through the various phases of its life. I was reminded of the way Champagne can magically traverse time by magical bottles of the 1976 R.D. and 1996 Vieilles Vignes Françaises I tasted recently. The blend is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay 91% Grand Cru fruit and the rest Premier Cru. Bollinger fans will notice the return of the original label with the disgorgement date clearly visible a tribute to Madame Bollinger who was a pioneer in so many ways. Disgorged: July 10 2020. Dosage is 3 grams per liter. -- Antonio Galloniv
Minerally on the nose with accents of sea breeze and brine transitions on the palate to a deep and finely-knit range of ripe nectarine and dried white cherry fruit chopped almond and espresso crema and hints of tangerine peel saffron and ground cardamom. Fine and lacy in texture this is sleek and mouthwatering through to the finish where the salinity returns echoing a lasting note. Disgorged July 2020. Drink now through 2032. 300 cases imported.