One of the Greatest Vintages Ever? Bollinger R.D. 2007 is one of their greatest ever Champagnes, rivalling the mythical 2008 for the top spot.
Critical Acclaim – The 2007 boasts an impressive double 97 points from Wine Advocate and Vinous. In fact, Vinous scores the 2007 one point higher than the recently released 2008!
Rarity – Only around 30,000 bottles of R.D. are produced in any vintage, representing less than 1% of Bollinger’s total production. 2007 required rigorous sorting which reduced the production volume well below 30,000.
Brand Ambition – Recent release price increases demonstrate Bollinger’s ambition to place their flagship cuvée on a par with the greatest names in Champagne.
Relative Value – Significantly undervalued compared to the 2008 vintage which commands a whopping 49% premium. The 92% release price hike for the 2008 vintage shows a clear demonstration of where Bollinger will position this prestige cuvée in the future. Back vintages for now represent incredible relative value investment.
Catch Up Potential – Versus the very top cuvées of Champagne, R.D. is still excellent value, offered way below prices for direct comparables from the likes of: Salon, Krug and Cristal.
‘Récemment Dégorgé’ (R.D.) is Bollinger’s Flagship Cuvée
Bollinger's most prestigious cuvée is the "R.D." ("Récemment Dégorgé" or "recently disgorged". This range consists of vintage champagnes that have been aged for an extended period on their lees in the bottle, before being disgorged and released for sale. Not a cheap way to make wine but this method adds layers of complexity and quality.
2008 Price Reposition – A Clear Statement of Intent for the R.D. Range
Bollinger’s latest rendition, the R.D. 2008, was released last month with an initial price tag of £1,200 per 6x75cl IB. This price represented a 92% increase in release price over the 2007. The 2008 is already trading at £1,300 a case. The 97pts 2007 is the ideal alternative, now offered at a deep 33% discount.
The availability of older vintages like the 1996 and 1988 is almost non-existent, reflecting the small production. These data points suggest a very promising future for the 2007 for the patient collector.
Bollinger’s Price Ambition for R.D.
Bollinger’s ‘statement’ release price for the 2008 vintage lays down a marker for the house’s ambition to position R.D. much further up Champagne’s price hierarchy.
Global demand for Champagne over the past two years has exploded and prices have moved to reflect that. This is demonstrated by the market acceptance of the 2008 price hike. We could have sold out our allocation many times over!
Bollinger’s clear ambition is to position the R.D range much closer to the likes of Salon, Cristal and Krug. A brand like Bollinger has the reach, power, and finances to successfully reposition R.D. and we have been led to expect further significant release price increases.
This means a huge gap potentially opening up between new releases of R.D, and top back vintages like the 2007. Collectors should act fast before this opportunity disappears.
Bollinger R.D. 2007 has already moved up
Bollinger R.D. 2007 is already a proven investment performer, seeing an over 40% increase in price since release. With a Wine Advocate score of 97 and an 'Extraordinary' rating, it is among the top-rated Champagnes of the modern era, rivalling the exquisite 2008 recent release. But we are confident that it has much further to run.
R.D. is the Cream of Bollinger's Production
Although Bollinger doesn't disclose the precise amount of Champagne produced annually, a statement made by Bollinger's cellar master, Gilles Descôtes to Decanter in 2018 suggests that the production of their flagship R.D. Champagne is significantly limited.
Descôtes stated that Bollinger's overall Champagne production is less than 1% of the total Champagne produced, and that R.D. accounts for less than 1% of Bollinger's total production. Based on the estimated production of 300 million Champagne bottles per year, Bollinger likely produces around 3 million bottles annually across all their whole range, which would result in roughly 30,000 bottles of Bollinger R.D. released per vintage.
Bollinger’s R.D. production usually consists of a selection of grapes taken from roughly 25 village’s Grand Cru and Premier Cru holdings. The 2007 vintage required rigorous sorting, only utilising grapes from 14 villages. Consequently, that initial 30,000 bottle estimate is likely to be an overstatement of actual production.
The exceptional quality and miniscule production quantity resulted in a near instantaneous sell-out on primary release. Secondary market supply is also slowly drying up as corks are pulled younger than with other investment grade wines. This prompt degradation of supply makes now an optimal time to invest in this Champagne, which has a huge drinking window out to 2037. That is a lot of time for price appreciation.
In summary, the Bollinger R.D. 2007 is an excellent investment option for collectors and investors alike due to its exceptional quality, rarity, relative value, and potential for future price growth.