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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.
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru | Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger
Grape Varieties: 100% Chardonnay
Ageing: 9 years on the lees
Disgorged: April 2021
Dosage: 9 g/l
Drink: Now to 2030+
Champagne Vintage 2011 / Pinot noir especially stood out this year, while pinot meunier was a ected partly by attacks. The winter came unusually early, in November of the previous year, but a mild late spring still led to a owering in May. The blending wines still have a fairly thin structure and a disturbing tone of bubblegum. Actually, this was one of the few autumns I have been present at harvest. I went around and made unannounced visits here and there. The strongest impression and question mark was actually the huge amount of invasive ladybugs that were caught in the presses and left a nasty, urine-saturated stabbing scent in the press houses. Will this leave an impression? I fail to see it disappear given how strong it was. Apart from that, I will never forget it was 86°F and the autumn sun radiant, when we celebrated with a magnum and reworks into the wee hours in Moulin de Verzenay.
by Richard Juhlin