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. The first edition of the series, PN VZ15, explores the interpretation of Pinot Noir from Verzenay 2015 and features reserve wines dating back to 2009.
The fruit is predominantly sourced from Verzenay (50% from 2015), characterized by the elegance, tension and salinity of Pinot Noir from this cru. Pinot Noir fruit from Aÿ, Bouzy and Tauxières were added to PN VZ15 to add aromatic synergy and complexity.
Cellar aged for more than twice the time required by the appellation. The addition of about 20% reserve wines add to the wine’s exceptional aromatic intensity, especially the Pinots Noirs aged in magnums for almost 10 years.
Dosage: 7 g/L
While PN is a non-vintage, 50% of the fruit comes from 2015. The growing season was warm and characterized by relatively low acid levels, yielding wines with balance, structure and freshness that can age.
PN VZ15 is beautiful on the eye, pale gold in color. The wine opens with aromas of cherry, jam-infused fruit and dried fig. The rich, complex nose then develops towards toasted, baked notes, as well as aromas of elderflower and pear. The experience builds on the palate as generous fruit flavors of peach and apricot are further enhanced by hazelnut and acacia blossom notes. The wine finishes with a wonderful lively and aromatic note, reminiscent of yuzu.
The structure and salinity of PN VZ15 makes it an outstanding Champagne to enjoy as part of a gastronomic experience. Quite versatile, the wine shines with a variety of dishes from a simple tomato tartlet, to a rich risotto with lentils and even veal sweetbreads with chestnuts. Of course, we also enjoy a glass PN VZ15 with aged cheeses.
Champagne Bollinger supports sustainable wine growing by grassing over the ground, using biological pest control, reducing the use of herbicides, recycling pruning waste, and planting hedges and orchards to encourage biodiversity. The Côte aux Enfants vineyard is managed organically.
Suggested Retail Price
Decanter - July 13, 2020 "Marvelously powerful aromatics with delectable scents of toast, smoked hazelnuts and pastry, as well as top notes of mint. From the start, the palate is impressively vinous and concentrated but tightens in a way that tapers to a long, fine chalky finish. The hazelnut reappears along with white fruit and a touch of white flowers. This is an irresistible Champagne that expresses a combination of serious structure and real fruited charm. This is a welcome and successful new entry to Bollinger’s prestigious line-up, one that should perfectly suit a dish of quail, for example."
Wine & Spirits - October 13, 2020 "This new project from Bollinger explores 100 percent pinot noir presented as blanc de noirs Champagne. The first release is focused on Verzenay, which chef de cave Gilles Descôtes describes as a cold terroir, a characteristic that appealed to him in the heat of the 2015 vintage. That vintage accounts for 50 percent of the blend; reserve wines provide 20 percent and power the dark, red-fruited intensity of the flavors. Smoky and grand, this is a young, mineral-driven pinot noir needing cellar time to mellow."
Vinous - July 6, 2020
"A fabulous Champagne, the NV PN VZ 15 is a new wine from Bollinger and the first addition to the range in over a decade. As the name implies, it is a 100% Pinot Noir built on a core of fruit from Verzenay and based on the 2015 vintage. Bollinger’s most iconic wine is of course the super-rare and expensive 100% Pinot Noir Vielles Vignes Françaises. A few years ago, Bollinger set out on a path to exalt the unique characteristics of their Pinot. For this project, the four leads of the winemaking team headed by Cellar Master Gilles Descôtes and Deputy Cellar Master Denis Bunner were tasked with each creating a new cuvée. The conditions: the wine had to be non-vintage, 100% Pinot Noir and possible to offer at both an affordable price and with some scale. The four wines were tasted blind and the winner is the new PN VZ 15, the first in a series of upcoming releases that will explore the many shades of Pinot at Bollinger. I tasted it recently with Bunner and General Manager Charles-Armand de Belenet and was super impressed.
Bright and vibrant on the palate, the PN VZ 15 captures all of the Pinot richness that is such a Bollinger signature but with the freshness and verve that make Pinots from Verzenay so distinctive. Rich red fruit, mint, dried flower and spice notes play off bright acids and veins of saline-drenched minerals in a display of aromas, flavors and textures that dazzle all the senses. Think of it as a baby VVF, but with the tension of Verzenay. The blend is approximately 50% Verzenay and 50% Aÿ, Bouzy and Louvois, done about half in steel and half in oak. This release is based on the 2015 vintage (50% of the blend), with reserve wines that go back to 2009, including 20% from the reserve magnums Bollinger is so famous for. This bottle was disgorged in November 2019 and dosage is 7 grams per liter, about average for Bollinger today.
As I have written before, many of Champagne’s big houses have embraced the ambitious spirit of grower Champagne with their recent bottlings, wines that often place more emphasis on variety and place than the flagship blended cuvées that are the core of what Champagne has represented in the past. This is yet another example. The new PN VZ 15 is superb, and sharply priced as well, something that is not often the case with new grande marque Champagnes these days. Don’t miss it."
More on Champagne Bollinger PN VZ15
September 15, 2020 - Arizona Foothills shares news with its readers that Champagne Bollinger has introduced a new addition to the permanent range, PN VZ15, for the first time in over a decade. The…
September 18, 2020 - Market Watch included the launch of Champagne Bollinger PN VZ15 in its September 2020 New Products feature. The write up explains that it is made from "100% Pinot Noir grapes…
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