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The rules in Champagne work differently than just about anywhere else. For one, growers are generally only growers (not vintners) and producers purchase fruit from them. Second, most houses have changed hands a number of times since their inception. And third, the vast majority of production is controlled by a few mega-houses whose corporate muscle and marketing reach help drive the region’s reputation. Bollinger – the Champagne of James Bond – turns convention on its head.
Jacques Joseph Bollinger founded this renowned house in 1829, and his family had owned it and maintained its integrity ever since. In fact, it is the only major Champagne producer to remain in family hands from soup to nuts. They also own about 2/3 of their vineyard sources, which obviously allows for a great deal of control over the way the fruit is farmed. They are the last house to employ a full-time cooper on-site, a critical fact when you consider that they still use the traditional barrel-fermentation method in the cellar. And they use much more Pinot Noir than most in their blends, a huge factor in the utterly seductive character and mouthfeel of their vintage prestige cuvée. Your New Year’s celebration just got a kick in the pants.
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