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Produced only in exceptional vintage years and intended as the ultimate expression of the Taittinger style, this wine is composed entirely of Chardonnay grapes grown in the top vineyards of the prestigious Côte des Blancs. Only the first press juice is used. A small proportion (5%) of the blend spends three to four months in new oak barrels, enhancing the intrinsic qualities of the final blend. Prior to disgorgement, the Blanc de Blancs is aged for 10 years on the lees in 13th-century chalk cellars that were once the property of Saint Nicaise abbey.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is the finest expression of the world famous wine from one of the greatest Champagne Houses. First produced in 1952, Comtes is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from 5 Grand Cru sites in the Côte des Blancs. Showing a pristine pale yellow colour with very light, abundant bubbles which rise uniformly to form a fine mousse. The evocative bouquet opens with notes of pears and fresh cute white flowers. Left in the glass for a time, the nose develops a richness and density of pure character. Once on the palate, Comtes is lively, direct and precise with flavours of candied lemon zest and fresh pineapple. The balance is something to behold. This Champagne's marriage of finesse and aromatic intensity is a promise of further potential, but already offers very pleasurable drinking.
The blend. Produced in the cellars of the former Saint-Nicaise abbey (13th century) in Reims, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs receives all the lavish care and attention it needs to reach its peak. Every bottle of Comtes de Champagne strictly adheres to all of the following to make it such a rare luxury and the connoisseurs choice :
• The Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is composed exclusively of Chardonnay grown in the five villages of the Côte des Blancs, which are classified as Grands Crus: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger.
• It is only produced when the harvest is of exceptional quality worthy of a vintage year.
• Only the wine from the first press – the Cuvée – is used: a sure guarantee of finesse.
• 5% of the wines used to make it have been aged for 4 months in new oak barrels (a third of which are renewed every year), enhancing the intrinsic qualities and complexities of the final blend.
• Only after slow and patient ageing for almost 10 years in the Saint-Nicaise chalk pits (Crayères) in 18 metres underground does this cuvée of exceptional quality come out into the light.
Tasting note: This great 2007 vintage lives up to all expectations as soon as you open the bottle. It is a moment to treasure. That typical Chardonnay colour is there in all its sparkling, golden glory with shimmers of green coating the constant stream of fine, delicate bubbles. It has a fine and delicate nose which combines white blossom and a certain minerality with general overtones of Anjou light pear and golden raisins. Subtle hints of aniseed and smoky flavours follow this suggestion of fruit. The taste is vibrant, with a combination of lemon and saltiness. This is immediately followed by a sensation of complex, yet mellow freshness creating the perfect balance between ripeness and a full-rounded flavour. It is rounded off by a long-lasting, crisp finish with hints of salted butter. This elegant wine lives up to its reputation with its freshness, strength, minerality and mellow fruitiness. Its freshness encapsulates a certain moment in time and promises interesting cellaring potential.
Serving suggestion: Perfect for a truly special celebration, this Champagne would also go very well with a starter based on seafood, shellfish or fish.
The 2007 viticultural year was an exceptional year in terms of both the vines and the fi nal wine. After a mild winter, and with the unusually warm temperatures, growth started early and many people were anticipating a harvest by mid-August. However, during May against all expectations, the vineyards in Champagne suffered awful weather. These conditions interfered with the vines’ fl owering period, resulting in great diversity across the region and full bloom only being achieved between the 24th of May and 1st of June. The grapes matured a little slower as a result of a mostly cold and gloomy summer. Thankfully at the end of August came the return of the sun and with it hope, as the fruit began to mature perfectly. Harvesting did not start until the 30th of August and was carried out under a cold, dry wind. This resulted in a healthy, good quality crop. The Chardonnay grapes were delicate and clear, and their citrus and white fruit aromas showed great potential.