The Drink Aristocrat’s guide to: Bollinger

Bollinger R.D. 1999 Vintage

The House of Bollinger is very sophisticated indeed. With some of the most delicate and decadent sparkling wines from the Champagne region in their arsenal, there is little wonder.

Affectionately known in the UK as ‘Bolly’, the Bollinger story begun over 400 years ago when one of the founding families of the Bollinger brand, the Hennequins, began dabbling in wine making on their land in Cramant. By the 18th Century, wine was being produced on this land by the Villermont family. It was not until 1829 that the champagne house, Renaudin Bollinger, was founded by the three fathers of the brand: Hennequin de Villermont, Paul Renaudin and German born Jacques Bollinger.

Today, the Bollinger that the world knows and loves is a far cry from its humble roots. Having undergone substantial expansion over the past 100 years, it remains one of the last independent Champagne houses and operates over 150 hectares of vineyards.

Some of the most popular bottles to come out of this legendary house include the ‘Special Cuvée’ which, although non-vintage, is the perfect expression of Bollinger’s style and class. Using a Pinot heavy blend, this is a complex and long lasting Champagne that gives the drinker plenty to think about and a nice toasty finish. From the vintage selection, Bollinger’s Grand Année and R.D. are both exceptional choices for a special occasion. For something truly out of this world, it has to be the Vielles Vignes Françaises, a prestige cuvée using grapes from ungrafted, ancient vines for a flavour that will knock your socks off.

From our friends at The Drink Aristocrat

The Drink Aristocrat’s guide to: Armand de Brignac Brut Gold

Armand de Brignac Brut Gold

Affectionately known as ‘the Ace of Spades’, in homage to the pewter logo emblazoned on the bottle, Armand de Brignac Brut Gold is one Champagne that will look as sumptuous on your table as it will taste in the glass.

A relative newcomer to the world of champagne, the Armand de Brignac Brut Gold was the brand’s first bottling in 2006 when the company was launched under the ownership of Sovereign brands and Cattier. Featuring a heady mix of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the Armand de Brignac Brut Gold is the flagship cuvée for the world’s most discerning palates to enjoy.

Succumbing to the irresistible temptation of the golden bottle will reward the sophisticated imbiber with something to truly write home about. Splashes of ginger and fresh apple mingle perfectly with overtones of sweet, sticky apricot. The high acidity lends a sense of refreshing minerality, but one which ends in soft creaminess.

Loved by celebrities, royalty and connoisseurs alike, this breath-taking bottle of bubbly is perfectly matched in its bold, distinctive flavours by the bold, striking packaging. In fact, Armand de Brignac Brut Gold was picked as the number one choice in a blind tasting of 1000 fine champagnes by FINE Champagne Magazine, proving that this really is a brand we should all indulge in.

From our friends at The Drink Aristocrat

The Drink Aristocrat’s guide to: Louis XIII cognac

Louis xiii

Whether you’re a cognac connoisseur or a newcomer to the nectar of the gods looking for a serious introduction into the world of exclusive drinks, the Louis XIII cognac is guaranteed to impress. Despite its youth and apparent lack of regard for the usual rules of ‘fine cognac’, the Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac is high on the list of ‘must have’ bottles for any serious collector, connoisseur or party compere.

A flagship product from the acclaimed stables of Remy Martin, this heavyweight in the world of cognacs is the result of a blend of over 1200 different eau de vie, each hand picked for their unique flavours and characteristics. Unlike many other premium cognac varieties, the Louis XIII cognac is not matured for centuries in the cellars of the distillery. Instead, this cognac is a blend of younger brandies from Remy’s own stock, paired perfectly with some key older picks that have matured for various durations.

In all of the past 75 years of their exquisite cognac production, Remy have only allowed a grand total of three maîtres de chai to be responsible for blending the final product. The master blender follows production of the product from start to finish, to ensure each and every bottle of Louis XIII cognac is a testament to the expertise and hard work that has gone into it.

With all of this attention to detail, and decades of expertise, you would expect something truly sensational from this fine and rare cognac. And you wouldn’t be disappointed. In the glass, a skilful nose will pick up elements of white and milk chocolate, blending with a rich and heady cocktail of other complex scents, such as sandalwood, vanilla and even tobacco. In the mouth, you can indulge in a taste sensation as you are guided through layers of woody mushroom, sharp prunes and fresh vanilla pods, all overlain with a freshness that nods in the direction of mint. The finish is, as expected, long and divine with a punch of spring flowers and ripe peaches making way for a caramel nuttiness that stays long after the glass has gone.

Whether it’s a special occasion, a gift for a friend or just a decadent treat for yourself, this is one cognac that you just have to have and to experience at least once in a lifetime.

From our friends at The Drink Aristocrat