Bollinger 02 Mags & Roederer Brut Premier

Posted by Ian McFadden

Champagne Double-Header
2002 Bollinger Grande Année MAGNUM
NV Roederer Brut Premier

Both represent the BEST - just choose your price and format.

We have one of the largest Champagne programs in the U.S. - so when New Years comes around, we get a LOT of inquiries and questions.

They all boil down to the following: WHAT TO OPEN???

Today we simplify - two choices, two different prices and formats, BOTH exceptional.

NV Roederer Brut Premier
This is, without a doubt, our all-around favorite Champagne under $50 - and it’s WELL under $50. We have been one of the biggest supporters of this wine over the last few years so it was nice to see Antonio Galloni single this wine out in last month’s Wine Advocate, writing: "The NV Brut Premier is a gorgeous wine that stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of wines in its price range. Apparently," he continues, "it is quite possible to make great Champagne that doesn’t cost a small fortune."

This is a beautiful Champagne, full of crisp orchard fruits held in tension with richer, darker minerals and a finishing creaminess that bears witness to the house’s significant use of barrel-aged reserve wines in the final blend. There's a strikingly similar finesse to their prestige Cristal cuvée, along with plenty of Roederer’s signature freshness, elegance and power.

Perfect for New Year's Eve, this is also a cellar-worthy Champagne: Six-packs of the Roederer Brut Premier are priced very sharply today to encourage you to stock up while the price lasts (only as long as this parcel).

2002 Bollinger Grand Année 1.5L
This is a grand Champagne for New Year's - it's also a Champagne for the ages, so if you don't crack it this year, have no worries opening it in 2012, or 2013, or 2033, or 2043.

The 02 Grande Année is massive, coating, chalky and tightly wound around a spool of citrus fruits and vibrant acid. As Antonio Galloni succinctly states: "The 2002 Brut La Grande Année is marvelous."

If ever there was a night for large-format, this is it. On the other hand, this is also an ideal bottle - in terms of house style, vintage signature and format - for burying deep in the cellar.

The 2002 Champagnes strut with a significance, a confidence, a grand demeanor that I must say suits the Bollinger style especially well.Bollinger is known for their sexy, curvaceous, statuesque wines, but all of that would soon get boring without the great finesse the house also manages. As Champagne expert Peter Liem says, "Bollinger’s Champagnes are often known for their richness, but whenever I taste one, it’s usually its fineness that I notice first and foremost."

The same goes for the 02 vintage, widely known for ripe fruit and yet showing more and more each year now its incredible elegance and harmony. Time will tell, but for now the 2002s appear to be in a very good position to hold court as one of the very great declared vintages; and the 02 Bollinger Grande Année maintains a considered spot among the forerunners of this pack.

Should you choose to indulge this Saturday or even in the next year or two, I’d definitely advise a larger-bowled wine glass for this 02 Grande Année, even a gentle decant to encourage the fullness of aromatics to come forward a bit more and the structure to stretch out and show off. Should you choose to cellar this, 20+ years should be no problem.


To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine & Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits