Wines of British Airways first class

During a trip to Italy and Slovenia we had the opportunity to sample a number of delicious wines while in the care of BA. First up was a tasting of 2 bubblies in the lounge at Heathrow.

Pol Roger, Champagne, Extra Cuvee de Reserve 1999 In the nose this Champagne is quite biscuity, with notes of herbs and flowers, yes spicy flowers, and nutty too. It is rich in the mouth, with some creaminess yet plenty of green and red apples. Yes the fruit is there with all of the complexity described in the nose – an elegant sparkling and a very special treat.

At Pol Roger this is known as their Brut Vintage. The grapes are 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from 20 grand and premier cru vineyards. The wine was aged for 7 years before release. Produced in Epernay, the alcohol is 12.5% and the retail price at the time was $79.99 at K&L.  The 2000 vintage is now available for the same price. Champagne Pol Roger

Bollinger, Champagne, La Grande Annee, Brut 1999 The nose features brown spices and earthiness. In the mouth it is rich, perhaps lower in acidity than I might have expected, a broad mouthfeel with the development of non-fruit flavors, even light mushroom, very complex.  It’s not thick or viscous, rather it is broad and complex – delightful.

In the cellar, the wines rest for at least 5 years after the secondary fermenation. Produced in Ay, NM-121-001, 12% the 2002 vintage is currently available at K&L for $114.99 Bollinger 


About RJ

Ray Johnson is the Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. He writes about food and wine, his travels and the business of wine. He makes his home in Sonoma County, California.
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