Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2013
Vieilles Vignes Françaises is one of Champagne’s most mythical cuvees, produced from miraculously preserved and ungrafted 100% Pinot Noir vines. Phylloxera destroyed the vines of Champagne in the early 20th century, but amazingly enough two of Bollinger’s classified Grands crus plots, Chaudes Terres and Clos St. Jacques, survived and are still grown the traditional way. Madame Lily Bollinger first had this wine produced in 1969 as an anniversary cuvee to commemorate her 70th birthday. Following the wine’s launch in 1974, Vieilles Vignes Françaises promptly became a collectible and a symbol of a bygone era. Over the decades, its uniqueness and scarcity have made it one of the most sought-after and expensive Champagnes.
In the early 20th century, the vines of Champagne were destroyed by phylloxera. In order to fight the devastating insect, everything had to be replanted using American rootstock. Everything, except two Bollinger plots in Aÿ classified as Grand cru which remained untouched: Chaudes Terres and Clos St Jacques. To this day, these two plots are grown the traditional way, following the ‘provignage’ method, worked by hand and even sometimes with the help of a cart-horse. Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises is a symbol of a bygone era: an extraordinary and moving legacy. The Vieilles Vignes Françaises wine is thought to be the eternal soul of Champagne.
Made in the traditional champagne method, this wine ages on the lees for more than twice the time required by the appellation. It has moderate dosage of 6 g/l and is sealed with natural cork whilst ageing.
This cool year culminated in sunny, settled weather that led many growers to compensate for the slow start by pushing their harvest dates right into October. This vintage is qualified by an excellent structure and welcoming acidity. A classic vintage, ideal for ageing. 2477 bottles produced.
A deep golden color. Aromas of quince jam, mirabelle plum and fresh hazelnut are layered with candied lemon peel and sweet spices. A succession of notes follow, from stone fruits to nuts, such as almonds, and finish on aromas of tonka bean. On the palate: An ample, powerful and lively taste. A hint of sea-air rounds off this generous and intense wine.
Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2013 can be paired with the finest dishes, but also offers an exceptional tasting experience by itself. To fully appreciate its unique style, bouquet and aromas, this wine is best served between 10 and 12°C.
The two remaining pre-phylloxera plots used for this wine are grown the traditional way, following the “provinage” method, worked by hand and even sometimes with the help of a cart-horse.
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