97 1996 Bollinger Grande Annee 12/25/05 ($97)
Color: Deep golden color. Looks ready, but not at all old. (4.0) Bouquet: Rich, buttered croissant with intense yeast and sweet pear. (3.0) Body: This is a heavyweight, but ripe fruit and classy, mouthcoating mousse give it a wonderful appeal. (4.0) Flavor: Parallels bouquet (3.0) Finish: Again, parallels bouquet, but richer with lemon zest making it very lively. Goes on and on. (4.0)
Overall: This is very great Champagne! Classic, big Bollinger style, but ripe and delicious at the same time. Strikes me as a little more developed than the 1990 was at this point, but should still drink beautifully for another 5 years at least. I’ll take this over Krug’s Grande Cuvee (multi-vintage) anytime and for $10-20 a bottle less.