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Bollinger releases latest PN aimed at ‘wine connoisseurs’

The fourth edition of Bollinger PN has been released as the brand’s ‘vision’ for Pinot Noir, which makes up 100% of this cuvée, with the latest release promising to be another ‘new interpretation’ of the style.

Created as a vehicle to showcase different expressions of Pinot Noir, the different editions each highlight different terriors in a premier cru and base year, which is chosen by Champagne Bollinger, and meaning the cuvée reinvents itself each year. The producer said the wine is particularly aimed at enthusiasts, and those who are “already connoisseurs to some degree and who wish to stray off the beaten track”.

The latest version, the PN AYC18, comes from the Aÿ terroir, the principal cru in the blend, made predominantly from the 2018 base year. In Champagne, the 2018 vintage was characterised by abundant yields and an early harvest, with the first ripe grapes being picked on the 13 August.

The weather began with a rainy start to the winter followed by more typical weather in January and February and a very mild spring. Hail and the threat of mildew were cause for concern, but fears were put at bay by the arrival of hot, dry weather from June onwards, the Bollinger said.

The lack of rain meant there was no botrytis with grapes described as being in “perfect condition” across the Champagne region.

Bollinger said it “adapted quickly” to the “significant challenges posed by the 2018 harvest”. Chalk moderated conditions in Grands Crus vineyards, resulted in very concentrated grapes with a natural average ripeness of 11° and powerful acidity, it said.

As the principal cru, Aÿ gives the wine all the hallmarks of Pinot Noir from this terroir, with the magnum-aged reserve wines also bringing “additional aromatic complexity to the blend”, Bollinger said, with 53% of PN AYC18 made from wines from 2018 with the different reserve wines – aged in vats, or in reserve magnums for the oldest examples – making up 47% of the blend. The oldest wine in the blend of PN AYC18 comes from the 2009 vintage.

In the glass, Bollinger said the AYC18 edition is characterised on opening by notes of honey, fruit jellies, quince and even candied citrus. Aromas of marzipan and blood orange complement a nose full of sweet spices and a refreshing note of menthol. On the palate, the wine is “serious, understated and rich” and is “beautifully expansive” with a finish full of candied citrus which “enhances the wine’s freshness”.

Charles-Armand de Belenet, managing director of Champagne Bollinger, said: “This wine, designed to be shared between wine enthusiasts, is the pure expression of a grape variety combined with that of a great Champagne terroir.

“This cuvée, made entirely from Pinot Noir, is part of our Maison’s essence, our DNA: a unique vision of this symbolic grape variety and the uncompromising work we have undergone to realise the mission that has been inspiring us since 1829, that of being creators of style.”

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