75cl * Vegan & Organic * 12.5% ABV * Champagne, France
Maison Taittinger dates back to an original house founded in 1734 by Jacques Fourneaux, however its links to the Taittinger family started in 1931, after Pierre Taittinger was stationed at Chateau de la Marquetterie in Pierry and fell in love with the property. Today, it is still owned and managed by the Taittinger family with its headquarters in Reims, situated above a sprawling warren of Roman cellars, where the wines are allowed to age slowly.
The Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the finest example of the Taittinger House style and is always a vintage cuvée. It is made with 100% white grapes from the 5 villages with a Grands Crus classification for the Chardonnay grape (Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger). A Comtes de Champagne is rare, the criteria governing its production mean that it cannot be created in large volumes. Only 35 great vintages have been produced since the first cuvée in 1952. The 2011 vintage was very different, marked by early ripening and a spring drought. This forced the root network to delve deep in the earth in search of the water it needed for proper growth and resulted in a voluptuous Comtes de Champagne.
This cuvée is created using juice from the first press only. A small percentage (5 %) of the blend is aged in fresh oak barrels to create the very delicate balance of toasted notes in the final wine. Taittinger knows it must be patient with these great Chardonnays, which are the crowning glory of its terroir; the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs remains for up to 10 years in the chalk quarries beneath Saint-Nicaise.
~ Critic Reviews ~
After the tightly coiled, hyper-concentrated 2008, Taittinger's 2011 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne represents a more immediate, charming rendition of this cuvée. Bursting from the glass with aromas of orchard and stone fruit mingled with notions of pastry cream, blanched almonds and mandarin, it's medium to full-bodied, pillowy and fleshy, with a soft and enveloping profile, lively acids and a pretty pinpoint mousse. Readers might think of the 2011 as a somewhat less reductive and less intense stylistic sibling of the 2006, and as it takes on more toasty complexity with bottle age, it will make for immensely seductive drinking. 94. William Kelley, RobertParker.com, October 2021
A firm, fresh Comtes with a tight and composed palate. It’s full-bodied with a racy mid-palate. Long and persistent. Very structured with phenolics and acidity. Minerally. Floral, too. Refreshing and energetic. September 2021 release. Drink or hold. 97, James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2011
For a recently disgorged vintage of Comtes the aromatics are surprisingly generous, lots of bright rich lemon, ripe apple and tropical notes like pineapple and yellow plum. The fruit grows more on the palate, with additions of spice, hints of creamy custard and ten years lees ageing has filled out the mid palate with a chalky richness and mineral twist. It finishes elegant and light with a twist of saline. This doesn’t have the density of 2008, though it shows Chardonnay was indeed very good in 2011 and it reminds me of the excellent Comtes 2007. 18/20 Nick Baker, September 2021, Founder TFB.