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In the early 20th century, almost all of the vines of Champagne were destroyed by phylloxera - a microscopic insect that feeds on the roots and leaves of grapevines. As a result, everything in the region had to be replanted using American rootstock to fight the devastating bug. Everything except two Bollinger plots classified as Grands Crus: Chaudes Terres and Clos St-Jacques in Aÿ. Both plots are incredibly small: a total size of 0.36 hectares and are now the sole contributors to Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises. Until recently, this exclusive cuvée was produced from three small plots including Croix Rouge, however this plot was lost to the phylloxera. The Chaudes Terres and Clos St-Jacques vineyards are grown the traditional way following the provignage method, working the plot by hand and even sometimes with the help of a cart-horse.
Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises has only been created as an individual cuvée since 1970 and is a symbol of a bygone era: a reminiscent, extraordinary and moving legacy. Just 1,416 numbered bottles of Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2010 were produced. This bottle comes in a gift box.
Weather: The 2010 harvest was marked by a very cold winter with heavy frost patches. Weather improved in the spring and early summer months with cool and consistent temperatures. However, August and September experienced weather with plenty of storms and humid conditions complicating the ripening process. Vieilles Vignes Françaises were harvested on 15th September.
Tasting Note: A deep golden colour, the wine opens with roasted almonds and is accompanied with honey notes. Plum and peach with Tarte Tatin caramelised apple notes on the mid-palate. Smooth and depthful flavours right through to the finish, which is long producing candied fruit notes.