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Champagne Bollinger Masterclass 12/12/2016

Champagne Bollinger Masterclass

Dorothée Bonnaire from the illustrious Champagne Bollinger recently visited our island to conduct an exclusive masterclass. Farsons Beverage Imports Company (FBIC) Limited teamed up with chic boutique hotel in Valletta, Casa Ellul, to offer a masterclass that proved to be one of the highlights on this year’s wine calendar.

Ms Bonnaire explained that the underground world of the Bollinger’s cellars reveals the importance of time at Bollinger’s. After primary fermentation in small stainless steel tanks or wooden casks the wine is bottled in the spring and taken to rest in the pervading silence of the chalk cellars where Special Cuvée champagne will remain for at least three years and vintage cuvées for much longer. It is this long period of rest that develops the extraordinarily delicate aromas of the wine and gives the bubbles their smooth texture. 

Bollinger’s pursuit of excellence does not stop with the winemaking process as riddling and disgorging of all vintage wines, with their natural cork stoppers, is still carried out by hand. Bollinger is uncompromising in its choice to allow bottles to rest for three months after disgorging to give the wine all the time it needs to stabilize.

Bollinger does not seek to produce vintage cuvées at all costs. This is only done when a grape harvest turns out to be absolutely exceptional: grapes must be perfectly ripe and they must present an ideal balance between sugar and acids. Bollinger’s uncompromising commitment to according vintage status to only the very best of years has given rise to the name of this outstanding cuvée. La Grande Année and La Grande Année Rosé, Bollinger’s prestige cuvées, are cogent demonstrations of a vintage year’s extraordinary qualities. Vinified exclusively in casks, they illustrate Bollinger’s interpretation of a grape harvest. The outstanding Bollinger R.D. cuvée takes these vintages to an even higher level with a remarkably long period of aging on lees. This is a champagne that truly demonstrates the advantages of the passing years.

During the masterclass, Ms Bonnaire presented Bollinger’s Special Cuvée, Grand Année 2005, Rosé, Grand Année Rose 2005 and capped off the evening with the exceptional R.D. 2002. Casa Ellul’s chef expertly paired a selection of signature dishes which included ‘Jerusalem Artichoke and basil tart with smoked eel’, ‘Beef tartar with sardines on toast, mustard leaves’ and ‘Crushed egg with yuzu and cured salmon on rye bread’.

Champagne Bollinger is imported, marketed and distributed by FBIC, member of the Farsons Group.