This story begins like a fairytale. While performing a stock inventory within the cellars of the Bollinger dwelling, situated in the heart of the Marne valley behind a wall of empty bottles, the champagne brand’s men discovered an abandoned cellar… A forgotten cellar, miraculously preserved – a surprise was in store. The original “planchots” whose inscriptions indicated the origin and vintage year of certain batches was still there, identical to photos from back in the day! In that same year, the brand decided to begin a massive archiving project; with much patience, the mysterious inscriptions were finally able to find their original meaning, giving a whole new dimension to this discovery. In the end, Bollinger discovered an incommensurable piece of its own heritage.
The year? 1830! More than 4,000 bottles in all were minutely restored. From the changing of the cork or the wire cage upon opening, each bottle necessitated special attention. Some bottles had been aging for over two centuries! Traditional savoir-faire united with new technologies softly brought these nectars back into the modern age, while the enological team tasted and analyzed over 150 wines, magnum or jeroboam.
That’s when the idea to undergo a project in order to highlight this extraordinary piece of patrimony first took root, as Bollinger sought to insert its identity into history. The fruit of the restoration of these vintages is Bollinger’s inauguration of two living enotecas in June 2016: the Galerie 1829 and La Réserve – both with a patrimonial rather than a commercial aim. The first brings together the most emblematic of Bollinger’s wines, preserved ever since the brand’s founding in 1829. The second, La Réserve, boasts a collection of over 3,000 Bollinger magnums. This highlighting of tradition allows for a better understanding of the complexity and richness that goes into creating these exceptional wines. Finally, Bollinger is able to bring us on a journey through time, offering up a variety of rich and powerful flavors that have been perfecting this champagne ever since the Belle Époque!