Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne is easily among the world’s great Champagnes. The epitome of elegance, and finesse it is the top cuvee of this historic producer and has an understated style coupled to immense quality that makes rightly revered among true Champagne connoisseurs.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne: 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay:
Comtes de Champagne is made from Chardonnay grown in the top grands crus vineyards of the Côte des Blancs. These include Avize, Chouilly, Cramant and Mesnil. The grapes are carefully selected and hand-picked, and only the first pressing (the cuvée) is used to ensure the highest quality and purity. The wine is then aged for at least 10 years in the 4th century Roman cellars of the former Saint-Nicaise abbey in Reims, where it develops layered complexity to balance the dazzling acidity and purity of fruit.
The history of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne:
The Comtes de Champagne cuvée was first created in 1952 by Pierre Taittinger, the founder of the Taittinger champagne house, as a tribute to Thibaud IV, the Count of Champagne, who was also a poet and a crusader king. Thibaud IV was the first to plant Chardonnay vines in Champagne in the 13th century.
Comtes de Champagne: The style and substance:
The Comtes de Champagne cuvée is only produced in vintages when the climatic conditions are favourable for the ripening and expression of the Chardonnay grapes.
It is routinely exceptional, a Champagne with a consistency that is rivalled by only a very select few. Great recent releases have included the 2012 and 2008, both top years for Champagne, but it also has the capacity to shine in what some may consider more difficult years for the grower. The 2005, 2006 and 2007 are all terrific examples of Comtes de Champagne and, most importantly, provide incredible value if you can track down a case or two.
The James Bond connection:
James Bond has been more regularly seen sipping Dom Perignon and Bollinger on film, the literary Bond is a Taittinger fan. In the book of Casino Royale, Bond notably calls Taittinger Comtes “probably the finest champagne in the world”. He also admits that it may not be the best known brand.
Enthusiasts would no doubt agree with both sentiments. While the likes of Dom Perignon and Cristal may have more brand recognition, they perhaps prefer to keep Taittinger Comtes just a touch under the radar.
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