Region: Champagne, France
First Glance: Iconic Blanc de Blanc from top producer
Acclaim: 100 Points
Taittinger stands out from the other Grand Marques, not just by being family owned, but also for their trademark focus on elegant Chardonnay-based wines. The Comtes de Champagne is the flag-ship cuvee of the house, and without a question it is one of the regions most revered Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay) wines.
Elaborated from 100% Chardonnay all from Grand Cru villages in the Cote des Blancs region, 5% of the base wine sees a brief stay in new French oak to add a touch of richness, and then the wine sleeps for 10 years in the deep chalk cellars of the estate.
2008 is one of the most lauded vintages in recent memory. A long and steady growing season allowed the fruit to develop a perfect balance of power, acidity and complexity. Top examples like the Comtes will continue to develop beautifully for 10 - 20 years or more!
100 Points, James Suckling
The perfect blanc de blancs. Full-bodied with a lovely framework of acidity and dry fruit, such as apples, pears and peaches. Opulent. Dense and muscular. Yet, it’s balanced and harmonious. Line of acidity at the end. Totally in tune. Superb. Deep and complete. Has everything. One for the cellar. It is the greatest Comte ever. It has everything. A perfect upgrade from two years ago. Drink or hold.
Taittinger’s 2008 Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is simply breathtaking. I have tasted it many times over the years in various trial disgorgements and it has never been anything less than compelling. The final, finished wine captures all of that potential. Bright, focused and wonderfully deep, Comtes is a fabulous example of a vintage that expresses so much energy but with real fruit intensity, the signatures that distinguish it from other vintages (1996 comes to mind) that were similarly taut, but more austere in the early going. Although the 2008 impresses right out of the gate, it only really starts to open up with several hours of air. The 2008 Comtes represents the purest essence of the Côtes des Blancs in a great, historic vintage. Readers who can find the 2008 should not hesitate, as it is a truly brilliant epic Champagne that no one who loves the very best in Champagne will want to be without.