Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut 2002

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Critical Acclaim

James Suckling 99 - Super fresh, this is striking given the 10 years in the cellars; it has a fine citrus nose - plenty of lemon, grapefruit, yellow chalky notes, some lighter floral elements too. The palate is super dry (dosage at 3-4g) and there's a silky, sherbet-like texture, smooth, fine and long. The citrus flavours give way to the driving surging acidity, thunderous acidity, really driving and powerful. The finish twists very slowly through to light-toasted cashew fruit flavours, but lemon citrus prevails. This is thrilling Champagne. Disgorged 22nd October, 2013. Drink from 2016. 98 - Bollinger R.D. turned out to be my wine of the evening as I tasted a star-studded cast of the world's greatest wines at the 12 Annual Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting. The 2002 became a magical experience when paired with freshly shucked oysters from the Hog Island Oyster Bay Company. R.D. and I became frozen in time while everyone fought to get more wine and posing for selfies. Champagne on the highest of pedestal. James Bond (007) would have been so proud. Deep yellow golden color; delicate and refined mousse; tremendous aroma of creamy apples and subtle citrus, medium to full bodied, layered and satiny smooth on the palate; long and enticing; dry, fine acidity, well balanced; creamy, ripe core fruit flavors, with a special interplay between fruit, earth and oak; long finish, delicate and refined in the aftertaste.

Australian Wine Companion 98 - A great wine whenever made and released, but few better than '02, appropriate given it marks the 50th birthday of RD (the first '52). It has the two outstanding features of R.D.: complexity and freshness. Pale gold, the bouquet is a cascade of honeyed brioche, spice and exotic fruits, the palate extraordinarily powerful, and staggeringly long, lemon citrus and minerally acidity providing the freshness. Bollinger has remained tightly family owned, but able to match the frenzy of expenditure on press houses and fermentation cellars of the region’s best producers.

Wine & Spirits 97 - When we tasted the 2002 Grande Année in 2012, I scored it 95 points, impressed by its pale chalk power, its muscularity and the freshness it expressed as a ten-year-old wine. It had the scent of a sunny meadow. With two years of additional time on the lees and a lower dosage, the current R.D. version of that wine is more extreme. If you break it apart you might consider how the barrel-aged base wines from 23 crus intensify the structure, or how the acidity of the vintage has sustained the bright, buzzing freshness of the peach and apple flavors. The fruit seems to be wedded to rock, so strong is the chalk streak of limestone. And yet the resonance of the wine, subsuming any and all of those factors, brings it together in a sumptuous texture, making it a pleasure to drink even now. It’s more sensible, however, to wait. In ten years, this should begin to fulfill its promise, at the start of its prime.

Wine Spectator 96 - A racehorse of a Champagne, showing ample power in a sleek, harmonious package. This is structured by firm, steely acidity, seamlessly woven with concentrated layers of roast almond, crushed black raspberry, candied kumquat and ginger, fleur de sel and pastry flavors. Mouthwatering, with a lasting, spiced finish. Disgorged October 22, 2013. Drink now through 2030.

Vinous 95 - The most remarkable thing about the 2002 Extra Brut R.D. is how tense and structured it is. Despite having been disgorged over two years ago, the 2002 is very much tightly wound. After several hours, the power and resonance of the vintage start to come through, along with the natural richness of Pinot from Aÿ. Whereas most 2002 Champagnes are quite ripe in profile, the 2002 R.D. has plenty of depth, but it is depth through concentration as opposed to elevated ripeness. The low dosage style further adds to that sensation. Hints of chamomile, sage, dried flower and red fruits emerge over time, but only with reluctance. I would prefer to cellar the 2002 for at least a few years. If that is not possible, readers should open the wine at least a few hours in advance. Even so, the 2002's best drinking lies somewhere in the future. My sense is that the 2002 will be at its best between the ages of 20 and 30. Disgorged: September 11, 2015.

Burghound 94 - There is noticeable age to the fully mature aromas of really lovely brioche, citrus and baked apple nuances. There is a notably refined bead to the mousse that is dense yet a little aeration allows the beautifully delineated yet subtly shaded full-bodied flavors to shine before culminating in a beautifully long, complex and classy finish. As the R.D. almost always is, this is full-flavored yet it arguably drinks like a blanc de blanc because of its purity and subtlety. In a word this is gorgeous.

Decanter 94 - A closed, grassy nose at first but underneath there's a restrained beautiful sophistication and youthful charm. Distinct but faint RD tones towards mushroom truffle and mineral saltiness. Slowly booming in the glass and not unlike a young RD 1975, so at some point this wine will breathe sweetest chocalte and nut symphony.

R.D. (Recently Disgorged) is the result of a great vision of Madame Bollinger, R.D. is a magnification of the very best that the Champagne region's terroirhas to offer. R.D. starts as a Grande Année, the prestige cuvée of Bollinger, and is allowed to mature for an extra 8 to 20 years, sometimes more.
The 2002 Bollinger R.D. displays golden hue with subtle highlights. Aromas of stewed ripe fruit, particularly quince, but also a discreet note of honey. These are followed by roasted notes of cocoa, which give way to flavors of star anise and nutmeg. Full bodied attack. Powerful but well-balanced, with persistent flavor. Mineral finish with touches of lemon revealing a pleasing bitterness.
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay

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