Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2008
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.
At Bollinger, only very high quality harvests become a vintage. The 2010 season was an exceptional one, revealing a very refreshing Champagne that brings out the full impact of the fruit. The parcels of Vieilles Vignes Françaises were harvested on September 16th. In total, there were 3,180 numbered bottles produced for the world.
The eye is greeted by a unique colour with golden undertones. The wine opens with a complex nose, detailing roasted nuts of hazelnut, mocha and toast, complemented by notes of mirabelle and red plum. Moving to the palate, there is a very broad aromatic spectrum is expressed through an unctuous, precise and saline quality on the palate with notes of nuts, spices (vanilla, cardamom) and verbena. It has remarkable length, marked by a lemony, chalky finish.
Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2008 can be paired with the finest dishes, but can also help create a special occasion on its own; wine connoisseurs will share it thoughtfully, enjoying the opportunity to try its rare unmatched flavors. To fully appreciate its unique style, bouquet and aromas, it is best to serve Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2008 between 10 and 12°C. You can enjoy Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2008 right away, or choose to age it further in your cellar.
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.
Suggested Retail Price
Decanter - "Spectacular wine. One of the finest vintages of the last 20 years, with excellent ripeness yet superb balance. The fruit from the ungrafted Pinot Noir in Aÿ was picked on 16 September and fermented in cask before being aged for 10 years, dosed at 8g/L. The result is still youthful, with bright primary apple and quince fruit and hints of almond, spice from the cask ferment, and a touch of yeasty autolysis. The texture is lush yet vibrant with plenty of volume and an exquisite elegance that endures through the luxuriously long finish."
More on Champagne Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2008
July 20, 2021 - Decanter's MW Charles Curtis reports on the ultra rare Champagne Bollinger's Vielles Vinges Francasies: a blanc de noirs with an extreme cult following. Curtis elaborates that the champagne is fought…
Other Wines by this Producer
From vineyard to bottling, Special Cuvée sees such an extraordinary level of care and attention, it is difficult to place within the non-vintage or, really, any Champagne category. It is a Champagne that stands apart. Within one bottle, all the complexity of flavor, texture and pleasure that Champagne can offer. Special Cuvée is truly a journey of devotion from Bollinger.
In the same way that Special Cuvée stands apart from non-vintage Champagnes, Bollinger Rosé is an exception for Rosé Champagnes. What is more, it is a relative secret, as Bollinger did not release a non-vintage Rosé until 2008 and the quantity produced is quite limited. The wine begins as Special Cuvée and then Bollinger's specialty as the Pinot Noir producer in Champagne takes center stage, as the red fruits that join the conversation dance vibrantly, the finish has just a hint of perfectly ripe tannin, and the deep complexity of the wine shines through transparently.
PN, made entirely from Pinot Noir to underscore the very essence and DNA of the House style, is the first new cuvée added to Bollinger’s permanent range since rosé in 2008. Each release of PN, developed as a series to bring Bollinger’s unique vision of Pinot Noir to light, will showcase a different cru from the base year that highlights its distinctive terroir and taste.
La Grande Année: The Great Year. This Champagne is the embodiment of everything that makes Bollinger the producer that stands apart in Champagne. La Grande Année, or LGA, preserves the traditions of the past and symbolizes the word "hand-crafted" so strongly that an overused word suddenly becomes the only appropriate definition.
Lily Bollinger agreed to a Bollinger rosé under one condition, it had to be extraordinary, and that is how La Grande Année Rosé was born. A blend like no other, the wine is as an extension to the House's prestige cuvée, La Grande Année, as is the subtle marriage between this great vintage Champagne and the addition of red wine from a unique plot, the legendary Côte aux Enfants.
A small revolution in the world of Champagne. In 1967, Bollinger releases R.D. 1952. There is no comparable Champagne on the market at the time. This bold and brilliant Champagne takes the pillars of what makes Champagne Bollinger so unique, and pushes them to their ultimate level. It is, very simply, a masterpiece.
This limited edition cuvée celebrates 2 important milestones. Firstly, it celebrates the historic partnership between Bollinger and Bond. Bollinger has been the exclusive Champagne partner of Bond since 1979, so 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of their relationship. Secondly, it celebrates the release of the upcoming movie, No Time to Die, which will be the 25th movie in the series (and Bollinger’s 15th Bond movie since the start of the partnership).
A stunning and extremely rare, still red wine produced only for the greatest vintages. This wine harmoniously combines 100% Pinot Noir Grand Cru fruit from an exceptional vineyard with traditional Burgundian style winemaking. Historically, Pinot Noirs from Aÿ were the most popular wines of the French court, specifically a favorite of King Henri IV, and La Côte aux Enfants comes from a steep plot just outside of the village. This wine is the purest expression of Pinot Noir, offering a fine, delicate texture in the mouth, and a tautness giving it a beautifully long finish.