The Bollinger family have a long history of winemaking in the Champagne region, with family links stretching right back to 1585. The Champagne house opened in 1829 and Bollinger continues to be run by the family today. They take great care over fruit selection, with 60% coming from their own estates, while the majority of other fruit sourced comes from Premier and Grand Cru vineyards. The vinification occurs in wooden barrels, a process that is increasingly unique amongst the great Champagne houses, giving Bollinger its unique character and guaranteeing the stability of the wine. Today Bollinger holds the Royal Warrant and is James Bond’s preferred Champagne.
Following the harvest period, Bollinger's decisions on blending are not made before January. The blend for the Special Cuvée is an ideal version of the classic Champagne blend, using the different grapes of a given year from a variety of crus, with the addition of older, reserve wines. This blend necessarily incorporates subtle variations each year whilst remaining consistent to a style. It is, therefore, the hardest of all Bollinger to make. It contains the full expression of the Bollinger style and the House feels it should be judged on this - its benchmark wine.
The denomination Special Cuvée was created in 1911. The idea came from William Folks, then partner of the illustrious London House of Mentzendorff. This great wine lover felt it was an insult to simply call this great wine "non vintage". The suggestion of naming it "Special Cuvée" was immediately approved by Monsieur Bollinger.
A blend par excellence, the Special Cuvée is the purest expression of the Bollinger style; of its craftsmanship and its singular conception of what a champagne should be. It is, therefore, on this wine that the House of Bollinger shows how it is different from other Champagne Houses, asserts its qualitative policy and by which it asks to be judged.
Madame Bollinger - "I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty."
"Cool, delicate briochey nose. Nice, rich fruit with honeyed undertones, reserve wine richness and texture. Complex, classy."
Anthony Rose Decanter Magazine, 1 January 2008.