The 1996 Bollinger “Grande Année” is now fully at its apogee, but is drinking beautifully and there is no immediate rush to drink it up, despite it now being wide open and wearing its heart on its sleeve. The deep and classically pinot-dominated bouquet of the ’96 is superb, wafting from the glass in a blend of apple, white peach, rye bread, a touch of spice tones, a complex base of soil and gentle smokiness in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and nicely broad-shouldered in personality, with excellent focus and grip, elegant mousse, very respectable mid-palate depth and a long, balanced and classy finish. If one were to be overly picky, perhaps the core is not quite as rock solid as the very best examples of the vintage, but this is a very small quibble with a delicious bottle of wine at its peak. Nov 2016, www.viewfromthecellar.com, Drink: 2016-2035.
John Gilman, View From The Cellar Score: 92/100 Drink 2016-2035