The 2014 La Grande Année is stunning. In fact, it is one of the best recent editions I can remember tasting. What comes through most is the wine’s sizzling energy and tension, qualities that aren’t often associated with Bollinger, where the Champagnes tend to show more breadth and volume. In 2014, readers will find a Grande Année built on linear intensity and drive. The 2014 is a blend taken from 19 villages, 61% Pinot Noir and 39% Chardonnay instead of the more typical 70/30 mix. For the second time in two decades (the first was 2007), Verzenay takes the lead in the Pinots over Aÿ, more or less an inverse from the norm. Verzenay, a north-facing village in the Montagne de Reims that saw less rain than Aÿ and most of the Vallée de la Marne, yields Pinots of energy more than volume. That, married with Chardonnays mostly from the Côtes des Blancs (predominantly Chouilly, Vertus, Oiry and Cramant), results in a truly magical Grande Année that will delight Champagne fans for several decades. I can’t recommend the 2014 highly enough. It’s a total knock-out. Disgorged: April, 2021. Dosage: 8 grams per liter.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (March 2022)Score: 98/100Drink 2022-2044
I belong to the group of people that believes that Bollinger above all shows its greatness in lighter and more elegant vintages as the inherent Pinot-driven masculine power they possess is always sufficient. In the grand generous vintages, one must fight hard to hold back the rumbling force and maintain freshness and sublime details. 2014 is a textbook example in the lighter category. Many champagnes from 2014 are simply too light, vague, and floral in nature, but this does not apply in any way to Bollinger La Grande Année. Here, they have beautifully navigated their way between the grains of the vintage and instead focused on its merits. The champagne is thus clearer and more elegant with a higher proportion of Chardonnay from Chouilly and Oiry than usual to include and embrace the citrusy and floral sides. The extremely intense aroma is otherwise dominated by a marked air of sea breezes, sea urchins, oyster shells, iodine and gunpowder smoke originating from Verzenay. There is also a light note of hazelnut and leather from Aÿ. The combination of these pillars and all complementary villages also gives a delicate fruit with hints of orange citrus, peach, and Mirabelle plum. The aromas come again in the fine and medium-bodied taste with an added note of the finest vanilla and fresh cep in olive oil. Overall, this is an extremely beautiful and complex Bollinger on the finer and more elegant half of the whole. I love how you find new little details in a harmonious simplicity with each new sip. Fascinating and beautiful already, grand as R.D. in 10 years or more and without a doubt one of the vintage's rare hits.
Richard Juhlin (March 2022)Score: 94-96/100
Offering up complex aromas of crisp yellow orchard fruit, confit citrus, frangipane, walnuts, dried white flowers and subtle hints of iodine, Bollinger's 2014 Brut La Grande Année is medium to full-bodied, pillowy and vinous, with an elegantly fleshy core of fruit that's underpinned by racy acids and complemented by a pretty pinpoint mousse. Concluding with a long, chalky finish, this is a charming but precise Grande Année that's more giving and demonstrative than its immediate predecessor, the 2012, but which attains a very similar level of quality in a more challenging vintage—testimony to the serious viticulture that underpins Bollinger's contemporary excellence.
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (March 2022)Score: 95/100Drink 2021-2045
La Grande Année is one of the great prestige cuvées, with an extraordinary lifespan. Its barrel fermentation gives it fantastic ageing potential, but the balance and overall drinkability of the 2014 will make it difficult to resist. It is definitely one of the most approachable vintages, compared to others at this stage of maturity. While it is not as rich and intense as some of its predecessors, it has found a lovely balance – marrying a precise backbone of acidity and good clarity of orchard and citrus fruit with more mature, tertiary hazelnut and toasty autolytic notes. The Champagne has good body, signature richness on the mid-palate and a long, sustained finish.
FINE+RARE (March 2022)Drink 2022-2040