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Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé Millésimé is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir (100% “Grands Crus”), part of which (12%) is red wine from the vineyards of Bouzy, and 30% Chardonnay grapes.
The Chardonnay grapes, from the vineyards of the Côte des Blancs (100% “Grands Crus”), bring refinement and freshness to the composition. Only juices from the first pressing are used to ensure the structure and the long ageing potential so essential to this exceptional champagne. Cellar-ageing allows the complexity of the aromas to develop and rounds off the structure of Comtes de Champagne Rosé.
Despite its unremarkable weather conditions, 2004 is an exuberant vintage. Although the winter was chilly, there was no period of intense cold. The very pleasant spring had low rainfall. The flowering period was long and began in mid-June, when the weather was cool. The summer was cool also, with weak sunshine, and was dry until mid-August when a beneficial period of rain be- gan. The return of the sun and heat at the beginning of September favoured ripening.
The grape harvest, which began with the Chardonnays on September 20th, proved to be one of the most abundant in Champagne’s history. It was very sound and of excellent quality.
The Chardonnays are of remarkable quality : balanced, complex, long, fresh and invigorating. The Pinot Noirs are elegant and structured.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé Millésimé 2004 is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir (100% “Grands Crus”), part of which (15%) is red wine from the vineyards of Bouzy, and 30% Chardonnay grapes from the vineyards of the Côte des Blancs (100% “Grands Crus”).
In order to ensure the structure and the long ageing potential so essential to this champagne, only juices from the first pressing are used. Ageing in the cellars allows the enrichment of the aromas and the development of their complexity.
Comtes de Champagne Rosé Millésimé 2004 is a rich rose colour.
The bubbles are extraordinarily delicate and form a wonderfully fine necklace of mousse. The nose, at once highly refined, fresh and young, reveals subtle and complex aromas of berries gently combining wild strawberries, morello cherries and blackcurrants. In the background blossoms a hint of fresh al- monds and liquorice.
The initial fruitiness quickly intensifies on the palate. The mid-palate is rich and structured, with a tannin tartness reminis cent of blackcurrant and wined pears.
The generous finish maintains balance and freshness. Still young, but already possessing great class, Comtes de Champagne Rosé Millésimé 2004 has a tan- nic structure that is becoming rounder and its depth and perfection are still improving.
This celebratory and ceremonial wine has qualities that make it suitable for all occasions: during a meal or to accompany a dessert of berries or fruit salad.
A great example of how large yields do not necessarily mean poor quality in Champagne. As a reaction to the previous year's low yields, the vines produced one of the largest crops on record. The growing season proceeded without major difficulties but the bumper crop called for bud thinning. August brought about cooler weather and some rains, increasing the risk of rot. The massive crop, averaging 13,990 kg/ha, was picked from September 18th onwards. The quality was a pleasant surprise; vibrant wines with appropriate intensity, refined charm and refreshing lightness. This vintage impresses me more and more, and I feel tempted to give it the full five stars. It comes with a rare balance of freshness, lightness, yet fine aromatic intensity. Post-release, this vintage has proven to be slow to age, and elegant wines are likely to keep on ageing gracefully. Dom Pérignon and Louis Roederer Cristal both excelled.