I missed out on 1996, 1999, 2000 and I am filled with remorse! So drawn to the astonishing price tag at Tesco I got a bottle of La Grande Annee Rose!
I had to cycle around London to find which Tesco actually stocked it. I must confess that it felt nice to be chasing a single bottle but once I found it, worry engulfed me that it would be corked. I have always had a minor reservation towards Bolly's vintages as Rose and with a grunt, my expectations stayed relatively low, but the anticipation was rife!
My diary has the following entry:
'The colour is salmon pink, with a minor orange and brown hue. The mousse is exquisitely fine as if it were not grande mousseaux but more cremant. I would like to say I am smelling griotte cherries but I am more inclined to say that there is a strong presence of raisins soaked in rum with a dash of strawberry sirup (and raspeberry but only just). There is also a slight hint of burnt glucose, of cream and of sponge cake. There is something 'green'. On the palette it was slightly restrained with pronounced mirabelles and classic Bollinger plum. 3rd glass later (half a bottle) the wine opened up and the hints became ever more distinct and defined leaning towards brioche, honey and slight undergrowth.'
Bollinger in its blurb accompanying the bottle wrote that the wine would age well, which I am not sure how exactly that was intended but with much lower than ideal acidity, and fairly high sugar content in grapes its extended aging potential is debatable. I won't write it off just like that, however, I will say that the aromas could and will develop into something very spectacular. But then is Rose not supposed to be drunk fresh?
Nevertheless a GREAT wine! and a bloody good bargain!!!