I very recently opened one of the oldest bottles of wine that I have ever owned. It is quite funny, the bottle was old, but I had owned it for less than two weeks before popping the cork. This was not my sideways-moment, but a result of some practical thinking. The Bollinger Grande Anné 1982 was ready to drink now, and we wanted to take advantage of the little flu-free time we had left. Later on I realized, that I had no idea on what kind of a year -82 was. It was the year Michael Jackson released his Thriller album (one of the favorite albums of my childhood), Grace Kelley died and all 9 planets aligned on the same side of the Sun. But how was the year in Champagne?
It was a hot and dry summer in Champagne. Just like the one my mother has told me was the summer of my birth in Finland. June and July were warm and the showers came right in time before drought. August and September temperatures allowed for an early, frost free harvest. If not for some mildew in June, the year was perfect. The crop was large and fruity. 1982 is considered the best vintage of the 80’s.
The best champagnes of the year are rich and complex with abundant flavor and structure that will keep for many more years. The Bollinger Grande Anné is a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. I was a bit worried about the wine when seeing how moist the cork (that broke off) was, but the wine still had plenty off bubbles. I could taste Bollingers signature toasty and creamy flavors enriched with nuts and raisin aromas from a long aging. Just look at the beautiful amber color of the wine.
The wine has received an average score of 95/100 from critics and can be purchased for around 200 to 300 Euros, depending on the condition of the bottle.