Wine Spectator 94 - A powerful, structured and graceful 2005, showing deft integration of the rich, chalky underpinning, firm acidity and expansive flavors of crushed black currant, spring blossom, toasted almond, crystallized honey and preserved lemon. Offers a fine, raw silk—like mousse and a long, spiced finish.
James Suckling 94 - Impressive concentration and power here. This is really assertive with ripe yellow orchard fruits and citrus within a core encased in a layer of more savory, toasty notes on both the nose and palate. There's that gentle hint of aldehyde that is the traditional stamp of the house plus savory woody notes, white mushrooms and some chalk and spices, too. The palate has a fleshy opening, filling out with peach and hazelnut flavors before a smooth ride to the finish. Approachable and complex. Drink it now through to 2020.
The delicate blush and old gold colors of the La Grande Annee are a sign of maturity and of Bollinger's winemaking skills. Its aromas are a testimony to the barrels its aged in: toasted bread and brandied fruit, plus notes of exotic spices, rhubarb and stone fruit. The bubbles are powerful yet soft and there is remarkable structure and length on the palate.