"The bombastic complexity that defines Bollinger rises to a grand and flamboyant crescendo in the mighty 2012 season. True to the vintage, it presents a medium straw hue, deeper in colour, tone and mood than the dynamic 2008 before it. The pure red and black cherries of ripe pinot noir from the grand slopes of Aÿ are masterfully toned by the perfume and energy of the north-east-facing hillside of Verzenay, backed by the citrus zest of Le Mesnil and Oiry chardonnay.
It’s simultaneously ripe, juicy, zesty and tense, with fruit presence of tantalising beauty seamlessly fused with fine chalk minerality and an acid line of sensational drive, yet at every moment perfectly ripe and effortlessly integrated. Fruit rightly takes a confident lead here, with the fig, spice, honey and roast almond of barrel fermentation and bottle age welling up in a rising background chorus.
The modern era of Bollinger’s attentiveness in the vineyards and cellar characterises a style ever more pure and seamless. This does nothing to diminish the multifaceted layers of signature complexity of Bollinger. Indeed, it somehow manages to pull off the feat of achieving precisely the opposite, magnifying and focusing its myriad details with greater clarity than ever.
This serves to present the mood of the season with more articulate typicity than ever, while celebrating all of the rumbling depth and power that we love of Bollinger. While it won’t live as long as the enduring 2008 (no house will) it achieves equal heights of fantastic line and incredible length. The result is consummately 2012, emphatically Bollinger and gloriously, irresistibly delicious."
98 points, Tyson Stelzer
"Disgorged in July 2019, Bollinger's 2012 Brut La Grande Année is showing well, offering up an incipiently complex bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh peach, orange oil, toasted walnuts and dried apricot that's still quite reserved with less than a year on cork. Full-bodied, deep and muscular, the 2012 is blockier and broader-shouldered than its 2008 predecessor, with a weightier and even more concentrated palate built around a bright spine of acidity, concluding with a chalky finish that carries appreciably dry extract. This isn't quite as elegant as the exquisite 2008, but it is a superb effort and obviously built to age."
95 points, Wine Advocate (March 2020)
"Texture is key here, with a fruit basket of indulgence tempting the senses, the predominant Pinot Noir adding plums, cherry and hints of cedar to the creamy, toasty core that has been bequeathed by the barrel fermentation. Energetic, vital and brimming with potential, its 8g/l of sugar is lightly worn. This is a seductive Grande Année, hard to resist in its youth but far from lacking gravitas and matière to secure a happy development."
93 points, Simon Field MW, Decanter (February 2020)
Located 150 km east of Paris, Champagne is the French wine region renowned for producing the finest, most rich and complex sparkling wines in the world. The elegance, longevity and racy acidity of these wines are attributed to the influence of the chalky soils of the region and the cool, marginal continental climate. The region spans an area of 35,000 ha and has 4 main growing areas, each favouring one of the three noble Champagne varieties; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. Champagne has a vineyard quality hierarchy based on the soils, aspect and overall quality of the grapes. Like Burgundy, these quality designations are allocated to the vineyards of the village. Of the 319 villages of Champagne, 17 have Grand Cru status and 44 villages are designated Premier Cru. All Champagne is produced by Traditional Method. The vast majority of Champagne is a blend of the three varieties and may also be a blend of several vintages producing the popular Non Vintage (NV) house styles. Top quality blends from exceptional years are sold as Vintage (Millésime) Champagne.