Thursday, 2 September 2010

BOLLINGER - LA GRANDE ANNE 2000; AN INEBRIATED VIEW

You can clearly imagine that I am lounging somewhere comfortable and drinking champagne feeling slightly merry and wanting to share my joy with the rest of the world. True!

Today, I got paid and the first thought was 'how shall I reward myself after a horrid few weeks of depravity?'
Our thoughts drifted to the direction of Pol Roger to reassess our opinion of what we tasted on ICD however given the time of arrival and the practicality of venturing with a magnum from the 'town' to 'home' with a gym session in between, we opted for a service of which I availed for the first time despite the fact my usual shop had offered it before. So I rode in with Spencer (my bike; aka Lady Di - btw nicknamed as such by my friends not me!) and ordered Bollinger's La Grande Annee 2000 in magnum, to be chilled for I wanted to collect it after my work out at the gym. Little did I know, that a chat at the gym, would entirely deprive me of the energy to continue with my work out I set out on the mission to do the basic shopping (for food) and then collect my precious cargo and continue the journey back to one's abode. Cold sweat covered my forehead one's I realised that I had left my debit card at the shop in which I had bought all the food, so I took flight from 'the usual' shop only to realise that I had slotted my debit card into a different compartment of my wallet (if a wallet is what I have). Drenched in sweat yet relieved, I returned to the usual shop and paid for the magnum.

The best glass
A dilemma ensued once I realised that my fridge couldn't accommodate a magnum in its erect position so the champagne wine did not spill yet remained cold. Solution: drink more from a larger glass!

The wine
Hmmmm, when I tasted this tipple from a single bottle I decanted the wine as it was so rich but I regretted afterwards. The magnum style actually suits this specific harvest more! The Burgundian wood is smacking you in the nose after about an hour you opened the magnum and tone of roasted nuts (more like fresh walnuts and slightly toasted hazel nuts come forth once you taste it. NO PLUMS! Shocking! On opening somewhat creamy texture promised itself to reveal something different, but now, irrespective of the state I may be in, recalling the tasting of 96 at Bollinger, I concluded, very much to Bollinger's surprise, that the wine had undergone MLF (malolactic fermentation). Was 2000 really that high on acidity? By comparison, there was weird dullness about the single bottle version of the 2000 harvest (which I, probably by mistake, decanted), however, the magnum shows a some sort of resemblance but retains 'good lips' (good lips is an expression I conceived when I tasted a bottle then licked my lips and a very vivacious feeling prevailed - my assumption of a good acidity; I could feel the tingling on the tip of my tongue).

Settled in the sofa, infused by almost 3 4ths I am happily declaring that the wine is developing nicely. Despite that, I would dissuade anyone from decanting the wine. Very much unlike what I would expect of a La Grande Annee, Nuts are the key feature of this tipple. It is not that I don't like it, on the contrary, given the speed in which I am consuming it, it is indeed an unlike La Grande Annee. Where is the greenery of 99 or even more pronounced 97? Where is incomprable accacia wood of 95? These questions can only be answered by one simple answer 'each harvest has its specific characteristics'.

The Point
An Inebriated View - the title originates or in fact is inspired by a work of a psychiatrist (Claudio Naranjo) who published his work 'Character and Neurosis; An Intergral View'. So I thought why not title the book That I have been writing in a similar fashion!

Pragmatically speaking!
Go for it! Bollinger hardly ever fails! Its vintages show different character in different styles i.e. RD or La Grande Annne but nevertheless they deliver that is why Sutcliffe, Stevenson or Juhlin declare it as their 'favourites' and my opinion does not differ.

;)

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