Historic Vintage Bollinger and Veuve Cliquot
Anyone who’s ever worked in retail or warehousing will tell you that stock take is a pain. No-one enjoys it and it rarely goes to plan.
What we never expected when we did ours was to stumble across some old vintage champagne, and not just the odd bottle either. Six whole cases of classic Bollinger La Grande Annee vintages, all in their original condition (albeit a bit dusty) and a few cases of Veuve Clicquot Vintage fizz too.
So in this week’s blog we’re going to have a little breakdown of what we’ve found, how much they’re going for, and where you can get them. We’ve also included some comments from the lovely people at Cellar Tracker so you know we aren’t making it up.
1996 – Cellar Tracker average rating 93.2
The latest reviews are really encouraging for such an old vintage (we did have some worries about this one). One user wrote “Great bold nose with lots of toast and dough. Rich and dense. Super youthful and driving.”
Another said “This shows just a little bit of aged funk…on the nose, but the palate is where this really shines. It’s incredibly fresh and vibrant, with plenty of autolytic notes, but the acidity here enlivens everything.”
1997 – Cellar Tracker average rating 92.5
Another high scorer (which quite frankly you probably expect from Bollinger) with reviewers saying “Well, this is one of the better 1997s that I remember having. The nose here shows some ripeness apple and a slight bit of bread, but it is also mineral and there’s a sort of leanness here as well. The palate is definitely on the cusp of losing the remaining primary brightness and there’s a slight bit of earthiness and mushroom just about to emerge. However, there’s still a good amount of citric acidity to keep this fresh.”
This is one that I can throw my hat into the ring with and corroborate as I was lucky enough to try some of this particular vintage last Christmas. If you’re a lover of older vintage champagne, or even just oakey chardonnay you’ll still find this particularly enjoyable.
1999 – Cellar Tracker average rating 92.4
The cheapest (or least expensive depending on whether you view the glass as half full or half empty) of La Grande Annee vintages we have available.
Cellar Tracker user Salua gave this a go last month and said “what a seriously good bottle of wine. Lovely golden colour, nice bead. Great toasty nose. Full on fruit up front that follows thru to a very long and full finish. May develop further but its hard to imagine it getting much better. Plenty of life left.”
This was backed up by another user who said: “Golden yellow, with copious mousse. Ripe Honeycrisp apple and brioche notes. A perfect way to bring in 2019.”
2005 – Cellar Tracker average rating 92.1
Now in the game of vintage champagne this one is potentially still quite young and could be laid down for many more years to come. That’s not to say that we’d turn down a glass right now mind you!
One user said, “Drinking great…a lot more life on this one.” Another said “One of the best champagnes I’ve ever had! Lively with structure and finesse. Dark gold in color. Truffles, brioche, nuts, and butter in perfect balance throughout. Loved it!”
1999 – Cellar Tracker average rating 89.7
And now we move on to the offerings from Veuve Clicquot. The 1999 vintage is described as a “toasty vintage with good acidity” and “beautifully mature – golden colour, good mousse, lively and still ‘fresh’, rich – very enjoyable.”
2004 – Cellar Tracker average rating 90.8
Another relatively young vintage in the grand scheme of things. Reviews say that the “fruit acidity and minerality seem to offset one another perfectly with fine mousse and medium long finish”.