Updated: Dec 29, 2020
A red wine from Champagne is rare, very rare. However, long before we started to appreciate the regions seductive bubbles, the area was world famous for its high quality reds! Yesterday I got to drink some veritable history. I got the honorable opportunity to try a silky smooth, complex, utterly succulent in addition legendary red wine from world renowned Champagne Bollinger.
The unique wine, Bollinger La Côte aux Enfants 2015, is made from pinot noir grapes grown behind the estate's cellar on 4 historical hectars named "La Côte aux Enfants". This vineyard is were the children would hang out and play, way back in the day, during harvest and hence how the wine got it's name. (The Children’s Hillside)
There is many reasons this wine expresses such singularity. The vineyard La Côte aux Enfants is located directly over a large and majestic bedrock of limestone that spreads out like an amphitheater in the area's absolute best Pinot Noir village, the small community of Aÿ. The protected location furthermore gives high maturity to the grapes and the wine gains fullness and power unique to the district. The vinification is traditional, rather old school, with a portion of whole bunches, fermentation and maceration for two weeks and ageing on typical burgundian oak casks. The fact that Bollinger is one of Champagne's most succesfull pinot noir experts does not go unnoticed.
The wine is quite multi-facetted. It both reminds you of a classy red burgundian, and not. This association is not a far cry since the grape is the burgundy-born pinot noir, and the regions are quite close. Southern Champagne basically touches the northern parts of Burgundy. It has the tell-tale signs for sure. 2015 La Côte aux Enfants is high in acidity and chalky minerals and packed with red fruit. But it is so, so much more. The colour is vibrant, clear and rather transparent. It's aromas are inviting, spicy, herbacious and really very exciting. The mouthfeel is wonderful with high but very pleasant acidity, silky tannins and notes of crowberries, sour cherries, green bell peppers, cinnamon, licorice, mint...and it goes on and on. The lenghth is quite stunning. In the end, this beauty does not bring me to Burgundy at all and it makes me very happy to find an expression that I figure is....pinot from champagne.
In the end, this beauty does not bring me to Burgundy at all and it makes me very happy to find an expression that I figure is....pinot from champagne.
Enjoy the wine cool, 16 C, and preferably decant it a few hours before consumption. Serve it with local, french cheese, cold cuts, duck, game bird or chicken as well as veal and lamb.
The production of these puppies are very small, the price tag (should you be so lucky) is approximately USD 105, EUR 90, SEK 950
The tasting took place at beautiful Brasserie Makalös in Stockholm, don't miss it!!
The wine was opened courtesy of the Swedish importer Arvid Nordquist Vin och Sprithandel