Bollinger, Brut Rosé Grande Année Aÿ 1996

Bollinger Annee Rose 1996 #1

27% Chardonnay, 73% Pinot Noir, of which 6.5% is ‘addition-method’ still red from Aÿ. A blend of 13 crus, 77% grand cru, 23% premier cru, the Chardonnay mostly Avize, Chouilly and Mesnil-sur-Oger, the Pinot Noir from mostly Aÿ and Verzenay. Raised in barrique with no malo. Dosage: 7 g/l.

Maturing color, copper pink. We go back and forth with Bollinger: is it oxidative or is it oxidized? When it’s right the imagery is brilliant. It’s a positive oxidation, the language as luridly expressive as Yiddish.  Ornamented baroque with a sweaty tang: makes me feel I’ve been washed ashore from a shipwreck in the days of the spice trade.  Fruit is noble, layered.  Best glass is the last one, where his amontillado flavors are borne forward by the high spark of ’96 acidity. Memorable. Now.

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