It's made in Marlborough and inspired in France's Champagne region where Bollinger is one of produced. The "it" in question is Nautilus Cuvee Brut, one of Marlborough's best bubblies and made by winemaker Clive Jones, who takes his inspiration from the richness and depth of Bollinger Special Cuvee. Bollinger or Bolly, as it is affectionately known, is fashioned around the great Pinot Noir grape. This red skinned grape is gently pressed to make ‘white’ sparkling wine (the colour always comes from the time that grapes spend in contact with their skins).
Like most champagnes, Bollinger Special Cuvee is a blend of grapes grown in several different vintages, which was historically used as a way of creating consistent quality wines rather than have enormous vintage variation in the cool climate, frost prone region of Champagne in north east France.
Why is Nautilus so flavoursome?
Nautilus is defined mostly by the toasty, savoury flavours of Pinot Noir, which typically makes up 71.4% of the blend of this wine. This deep, rich taste is balanced by 28.6% Chardonnay to add freshness and a citrus twist. All of the grapes in this wine are hand picked, fermented with a champagne yeast with only the first run of juice going to fermentation to retain a fineness in flavour and texture. The wine typically contains 5 to 15% of reserve wines, held back from previous vintages, to add aged but fresh characters and retain consistency in this wine.
Flavoursome styled Bollinger
A portion of all Bollinger champagnes is fermented in large old French oak vats, which softens the naturally high acidity of grapes from this cool northern wine region. Its flavours are toasty and citrusy with creamy, earthy complexity and depth of flavour from the dominance of Pinot Noir balanced by a smaller portion of Chardonnay. All grapes are hand picked, fermented with a champagne yeast with only the first run of juice going to fermentation to retain a fineness in flavour and texture.