R.D. (meaning recently disgorged) represents the pinnacle of Bollinger's expertise.
From the highly anticipated 2002 vintage, golden with subtle highlights to the eye, the nose is filled with aromas of stewed ripe fruit and an underlying tone of honey. These are followed by roasted notes and cocoa, which are then surpassed by nutmeg and star anise. A full bodied and complex attack on the palate, yet well balanced and persistent. Touches of lemon reveal a pleasing bitterness paired with a long, mineral finish. A true modern classic.
Unique both in its concept and style and very rare, R.D. was first proposed by Madame Bollinger in 1961 on the basis of the 1952 Vintage. There is no equivalent concept in Champagne.
Since then, small parcels of certain vintages of La Grande Annee have been kept on the lees for a minimum of 8 years and up to 25 years for extended ageing, and then released years later as this unique wine. Only the most promising of these vintages can hope to become R.D. The extra time in the cellar encourages the slow evolution of aromas, as well as a redefinition of structure and a lingering finish.
The first fermentation of R.D. is always 100% carried out in small oak barrels, which enables a rigorous selection. Bollinger only uses old barrels (5 years and more), in order to generate neither an oaky taste nor tannins. This method reinforces the aromatic complexity and the ageing potential of the wines. Once the wine is bottled, the second fermentation and cellar ageing are conducted under natural cork.
R.D. is an 'extra-brut' - i.e. the dosage is very low.
These wines improve with age and may be enjoyed immediately or allowed to continue ageing after disgorgement, reserving additional characteristics for the future. Bollinger R.D. wines are both a homage to the best that the terroir and time has to offer and a gift to lovers of great wines.