Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut

Marking the 50th anniversary of R.D. (‘recently disgorged’), R.D. 2002 is a rerelease of Bollinger’s magnificent and enduring La Grande Année 2002, a detail that the house is keen to downplay. An extra few years on lees and half the dosage offer even greater focus and precision on the finish. The streamlined energy, shimmering minerality and lemon zest brilliance of 2002 hones the grand depth and creamy silkiness of Bollinger’s barrel-fermented personality in layers of brioche, dried pear, Christmas pudding and ginger nut biscuits. A monumental R.D. but the enduring 2002 season yearns for another decade yet to show its full magnificence. This begs the question of whether a few more years on lees and lower dosage are worth $400, when La Grande Année 2002 is still on the shelves for as little as $185. Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot follow a similar recipe and command such price premiums for their Oenothèque and Cave Privée releases, but with significantly more lees age. $360 at Cracka.