Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2008 comes from 5 Grand Cru Villages in the Cote des Blancs: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil- sur-Oger and Oger. Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is always 100% Chardonnay made from the best sites in the best vintages. When it comes to Taittinger Comtes de Champagne there is no compromise on quality. Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is one of the greatest Champagnes in the world.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is a wine that will need time in the bottle to reach its full potential.
The Forest-Fourneaux Champagne house worked with the Benedictine monks to learn their craft. This was way back in the 1700s. The Taittinger family bought the house in the 1930s and have improved the quality and renown since. So much so that James Bond said it was his favourite house in the first Bond novel. The Taittinger style is easy to enjoy and, for the most part, without the need to cellar. Taittinger Comtes de Champagne is one of the best Blanc de Blancs you’ll ever have the joy to drink.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2008 Wine Review (further reviews at the bottom of the page.)
Number 1 The Top 12 Champagnes of 2020
“Taittinger’s flagship Comtes de Champagne holds an enviable position among the very finest blanc de blancs and it is fitting that the lauded 2008 is my Champagne of the Year. The depth of reach of the house into the Côte des Blancs grand crus has made this one of Champagne’s most consistent flagships, and one or two points ahead of Salon in my book in every vintage of the 2000s to date. Every even-numbered vintage since 1996 has been nothing short of transcendental. ‘We are lucky to work with a huge quantity of wines from the Côte des Blancs, allowing us to choose the best samples for Comtes de Champagne each year,’ explains cellar master Loïc Dupont. ‘We look for the vats that represent the typicity of each cru, to build the expression of the vintage. Avize brings elegance, finesse and balance, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger contributes body and a subtle reduction akin to grilled bread, Chouilly delivers roundness, Cramant grilled almonds, and Oger elegant citrus.’
Comtes de Champagne 2008 is one of the most anticipated champagne releases of the decade. It’s been more than three years since the family treated me to a premature sneak preview of this desperately coiled and reticent thing in the reception room of Taittinger at Saint-Nicaise. At that moment, the most enduring Comtes since 1996 was permanently etched in my psyche. It has been worth the wait, and that magic moment has finally come when this monumental thing is unleashed on the world. Still a gorgeous, brilliant pale straw hue. The purity is pinpoint exact, with the magical youthfulness of pure white fruits that capture the energy and precision of Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the brilliant 2008 season. Its tiny proportion of barrel-ferment kicks above its weight, bringing notes of grilled toast, brioche and vanilla. The presence and concentration are something else, with brilliant stature that holds an astonishing line of undeviating persistence that does not fade in amplitude for thirty seconds after you swallow. Its pure lemon fruit is pristine and radiantly fresh. The chalk minerality of the northern Côte des Blancs elevates with astonishing clarity, at once super-fine and calm and at the same time stark and mouth-embracing. This is classic Comtes of the highest order, with a concentration and presence that is all-encompassing and transfixing, perfectly juxtaposed with an energy and tension that will hold it rock-solid for a lifetime yet.”
A wine region of France approximately 160km East of Paris. It is also the name of the wines produced from the area. Most famously, it is a sparkling wine that undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle and aging on lees (the dead yeast cells). Although there is the occasional still wine, you can find around particularly Pinot Noir. The fantastically named Bouzy Rouge is one such example. There are very few single vintage, single vineyard, single variety Champagnes. I can only name one – Salon. And it was produced only 47 times between 1900 and 1999. Why? Due to the large area the region covers and the challenging weather, the houses blended wines to produce a consistent and reliable product every year. This is where the growers come in. They relish the chance to show off vintage variation and small plot wines.
The grape that you can plant anywhere, in any climate and do anything to, and it will still taste like an OK wine. When people hit the sweet spot of site, climate, cropping and winemaking, Chardonnay becomes a magical wine that will age gracefully but charm you at any age. Chardonnays can range from cool-climate lean and citrusy to warmer climate tropical and overt. Oak and lees can add flavouring as can malolactic fermentation. In a Champagne context, Chard can add mineral flavours, stone fruits and acidity along with some weight of fruit.
The land that so many New World (not European) wine producers look to emulate. To generalise about French wine, I would say it is savoury, lighter-bodied wines. They are the definition of elegant, complex. There are many styles, though. And there is a French wine for every palate. They lead the world in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. Sparkling Wine in Champagne. Cabernet and Merlot in Bordeaux. Syrah(Shiraz) and Grenache in the Rhone Valley. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris in Alsace. Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. Gamay in Beaujolais.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fizz, bubby, bubbles. It is a wine with bubbles in it. There are many ways to put the bubbles in, and many styles and flavours you can find. Important to know that you should never buy cheap Sparkling. Champagne is still the quality leader of the world. But great Sparkling can be found in Moscato (sweet), Prosecco, Franciacorta (Italy), Cava (Spain), Australia, New Zealand, Loire Valley and Burgundy Cremant (France).
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I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.
Further praise for Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2008.
Top 100 wines
“From the great ’08 vintage, 100% grands crus blanc de blancs. It’s the favourite champagne of Australian winemakers. A scintillating blend of citrus and white peach wrapped in strands of almond, brioche and mineral notes, the length and freshness of the finish and aftertaste phenomenal.”
Fine Champagne Magazine
Winner – 100 Best Champagne
“This time the winner was one of the most esteemed prestige blanc de blancs champagne of the world – Comtes de Champagne from Taittinger and its most recent vintage 2008. Comtes de Champagne is not the newcomer on podium, as it was claimed in 2012 as the winner of 100 Best Champagnes with its vintage 2000.
The recently-released and much-awaited Comtes de Champagne 2008 was one of the last remaining prestige cuvées from the hyped 2008 vintage to see daylight. But it was worth the wait. The first nose is radiantly fruity with gorgeous gunpowdery toastiness lingering on top of the zingy lemon, lime, peach and grass notes. Remarkable purity and finesse on this racey and mineral, slowly evolving, still super youthful Comtes packed with energy and tension” Essi Avellan MW com