Champagne Bollinger celebrates 40 year partnership with James Bond

Champagne Bollinger hosted an elaborate event at the Hôtel de Crillon, Paris today to mark the 40th anniversary of their partnership with 007.

To celebrate this anniversary, Michael G. Wilson, producer of the James Bond films, was joined by an exclusive list of invitees. The evening paid tribute to the shared history of the two brands dating back to 1979 when Champagne Bollinger become the official Champagne of Britain’s famous secret agent, upon the release of Moonraker. Commenting on the anniversary, Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli producers of the James Bond films proudly stated that the relationship is: “One of the great partnerships in cinema – forty years and counting”.

The occasion was marked with the global product launch of the ‘The Moonraker Luxury Limited Edition’, the latest product offering from Champagne Bollinger to commemorate the 40-year partnership. Guests were treated to the first taste of this 2007 vintage, set to a backdrop of a Moonraker image retrospective including sketches of the iconic space shuttle, created by legendary production designer Sir Ken Adam, which inspired the design of the latest collector’s item.

Champagne Bollinger Website:



Charles-Armand de Belenet former Pernod Ricard executive becomes GM for Champagne Bollinger












The appointment was announced in France a few weeks ago by the Société Jacques Bollinger (SJB), which is the holding company for Bollinger, along with Champagne Ayala, Burgundy’s Chanson, the Loire Valley’s Langlois-Château, and Cognac’s Delamain.

Charles-Armand de Belenet, the 46-year-old comes from Burgundy, and has take up the post at Bollinger on September 5th, 2017.

The new head for the house hails most recently from Pernod Ricard, where he has been international marketing director of Martell, Mumm and Perrier Jouët, although he has worked for the multinational drinks group since 2006, both in France and Korea.

He began his career with Bacardi-Martini as a product manager, before joining Lindt and Sprüngli in 1999, and then one year later, an internet startup called, where he worked until 2002, when he moved to Allied Domecq.

Described by the SJB Group as having a “rich commercial and marketing experience”, the company also stated that it was entrusting the management of its “main house” to Charles-Armand with “confidence and enthusiasm”.

Charles-Armand de Belenet: career progression

He begins his career at Bacardi-Martini, as a product manager
1999: Lindt and Sprüngli
2002: Allied Domecq
2006: Pernod Ricard (marketing director for Pernod France, and later marketing director for Pernod Ricard Korea
2011: International marketing director of Martell, Mumm and Perrier Jouët at Pernod Ricard
2017: Becomes general manager, Champagne Bollinger, in September

Source:  Drinks Business

The start of production for 23rd James Bond film “Skyfall” has been announced. Rumors are flying over which Bollinger Cuvée will be featured.

Following the recent announcement that the 23rd Bond Film will be called “Skyfall” with release date of October 2012, rumors have been flying thick and fast!

Who will be singing the theme song? Will this be Daniel Craig’s last Bond film? Will the budgets equal those lavished on Quantum of Solace?

Craig’s fellow cast members include: Dame Judi Dench, Albert Finney, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw.

Producers have confirmed is that Skyfall will take Bond on another action-packed mission to London, Shanghai, Istanbul and Scotland.

Champagne Bollinger has been Bond’s Champagne of choice since its first appearance on screen in ‘Live and Let Die’ in 1973.

It was Bollinger R.D. 1975 in View to a Kill, and Bollinger R.D. 1969 in Moonraker, both of which Bond recognized by vintage.

The question is which Bollinger Cuvée will be featured in Skyfall?

Liz Palmer

2002 Vintage Champagne (James Bond understood the importance of vintage when it came to Champagne)

When thugs drag off Honey Ryder in 1962’s Dr. No, he brandishes a bottle to defend her. Warned by the title character that he’s grabbed a Dom Pérignon 1955 and “it would be a pity to waste it,” 007 coolly counters “I prefer the ’53 myself.”

Even under duress, it’s important to keep your vintages straight. The best come from those years when already glamorous Champagnes reach their zenith of seduction. The year 2002 is one of those. We are now enjoying the fruits of the foremost vintage since 1996. This trio of 2002s, each with its own personality, would certainly fit in with Bond’s lofty preferences: Moët & Chandon’s Brut Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon 2002 (Wine Spectator-rated 95, $160), Piper-Heidsieck’s Brut Champagne Rare 2002 (95, $275) and Bollinger’s Brut Rosé Champagne La Grande Année 2002 (94, $230).

The Dom Pérignon comes swathed in haute couture. It’s all about elegance and attention to detail, with its smoky richness and fine-grained texture. And that’s only a backdrop for the layers of biscuit, candied lemon peel, coffee liqueur, chamomile, pine and crystallized honey to come. Choosing roughly equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from grand cru vineyards, DP’s chef de cave Richard Geoffroy took full advantage of the flavor maturity in the ripe grapes and the powerful profile of the vintage.

The classy Piper-Heidsieck Rare is a mosaic of textures. It shows red berry and graphite flavors and a firm structure, with honey, toast and seashore notes. Silkiness completes the picture. While the grape blend is dominated by Pinot Noir (70 percent), chef de cave Régis Camus stresses the importance of Chardonnay (30 percent) sourced from specific crus when it comes to elaborating a Rare vintage. “Our quest is always for Chardonnays [that] are mineral in style.”

With its deep rose hue the Bollinger is dressed up to celebrate. With a sense of balance and seamless integration, the wine delivers juicy fruit flavors of ripe black cherry, pomegranate and cassis that are fresh and vibrant. The finish is long and lightly spiced. Bollinger ferments the base wines in neutral oak barrels, adding 7 to 8 percent red Pinot Noir from its tiny La Côte aux Enfants vineyard located behind the firm’s offices. It’s aged on the lees a minimum of six years.

You needn’t wait until your dining with a super villain, however. Popping the cork on any one of these Champagnes from the glorious 2002 vintage is sure to enhance any situation. But even Bond would find it difficult choosing just one.

Cigar Aficionado

Fine-tuning Champagne….without a dose of sweetness…

Dosage, or the addition of a judicious amount of sweetness into a finished Champagne just before release, has been an important part of the region’s winemaking process ever since Champagne was invented as a sparkling wine. Today, however, many producers are reducing the level of dosage in their Champagnes. Some are choosing to dispense with it altogether.

It ties to a recent trend in Champagne – the proliferation of zero-dosage cuvées, also referred to as non-dosé or brut nature. At their best, these Champagnes offer a scintillating liveliness and clarity of expression, showcasing their winelike fruit flavors and emphasizing their chalky minerality.

At Larmandier-Bernier, Pierre Larmandier has been making a brut nature called Terre de Vertus since the 1995 vintage, sourced from parcels that yield exceptionally ripe grapes. “When we first created it,” says Larmandier, “we found that the wine was already harmonious as it was. It didn’t need any dosage.”

Emmanuel Fourny of Veuve Fourny also specifically selects old-vine parcels and parcels prone to high natural ripeness to make his Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature. “For a brut nature you need more substance,” he says. “My goal is to get a natural roundness and richness through a selection of vines and a selection of terroir.”

Not Just About Sweetness

Dosage is typically thought of as a measure of sugar: Add more if you like a sweeter Champagne, use less if you prefer a drier one. This view is oversimplified, though, as the overall harmony of a Champagne relies on the interaction of the dosage with the wine’s other components.

Most notably, Champagne’s naturally high acidity can be overly aggressive; historically, dosage has helped to bring it into better balance.

Tasting the finest examples of undosed Champagne, you realize that the region’s elite growers have actually succeeded in creating an entirely new style of Champagne. These can be a joy to experience: the unmitigated minerality of the Terre de Vertus; the seamless harmony and grace of Franck Pascal’s Sagesse; the vinous intensity of the wines of Vouette et Sorbée.

Champagnes like these are derived from a different paradigm than those made in the classical style, striving for a different type of expression. Traditional Champagnes by houses such as Louis Roederer or Bollinger, or grower Champagnes like Vilmart and Henri Billiot, use the dosage to balance the wine’s other components and amplify the fruit flavors, creating a rounder, more generous and often more complex wine. Non-dosé Champagnes, on the other hand, tend to thrive on a sense of transparency and a sleek, unadorned minerality.

Achieving Harmony

To be successful, a non-dosé – or undosed – Champagne must have sufficient depth and presence to achieve harmony without added sugar. This means the grapes must be riper and more concentrated.
“We have seen a progressive decrease in our dosage almost equally in parallel with our improvements in viticulture,” observes Jean-Hervé Chiquet, owner of the Champagne house Jacquesson.

When the balance isn’t right, though, and particularly when a non-dosé Champagne lacks the depth from the vineyard to back it up, the acidity can feel steely and harsh, and the fruit meager, flattened and inexpressive.

It’s possible to create a properly balanced Champagne that doesn’t include added sugar at all. But most of the time, simply reducing the level of dosage on an existing brut cuvée doesn’t work; the balance of the wine is lost. The final acidity should be appealingly vital and brisk rather than piercing, with the ripe depth of fruit playing the ameliorating role that dosage otherwise does.

Dosage is a hotly debated issue in the region. Even among Champagne’s elite growers, not all agree that non-dosé represents an ideal solution.

“I’m not necessarily a partisan of zero dosage,” says Francis Egly of Egly-Ouriet, who believes that small amounts of dosage bring his wines into better balance. “I compare it to cooking – you need to find a balance to bring out the best in a dish. Sometimes a Champagne will have a slight bitterness that disappears with just a touch of dosage.”

What’s important to remember is that dosage is much more than just a sweetener. “Dosage exists as an agent for harmony and balance,” says importer Terry Theise. “Many Champagnes are low in pH and can be shrill or bitter without dosage.”

It’s not always easy to achieve that harmony. Sometimes it can seem as if wines are being forced into a lack of dosage out of fashion or ideology rather than allowed to naturally find a balance on their own.

Ultimately, the question that wine drinkers should ask isn’t whether a Champagne contains dosage or not, but whether the wine is harmonious.

“The point, always and forever, is to taste, and be guided not by some doctrine you’ve promulgated,” Theise says, “but by your palate and your simple wits.”

The Chronicle