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Wine News

Bollinger releases a 2003 vintage

Bollinger has broken with tradition to release a ‘unique’ vintage Champagne from 2003. The new wine, called 2003 by Bollinger, is the first to be released by any of the big Champagne houses from the year when the region experienced extraordinary weather.

Spring frosts seriously reduced the crop in 2003, particularly the Chardonnay. On top of that, Champagne saw its earliest harvest since records began in 1822 due to a heat wave, which ripened the grapes at an extraordinarily fast rate. As a result of this, Bollinger said the vintage wasn’t suitable for its La Grande Annee because the grapes didn’t have a sufficiently high total acidity or a low enough pH to achieve the austere character for the style. However, the Champagne house felt that the expression was too good to ignore. Hence, this new wine, which will be launched in the UK in July.

The blend is 60 per cent Pinot Noir and 40 per cent Chardonnay. It will be priced at £45, around half the price of a typical Grand Annee.