Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2008
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The moment you open this 2008 vintage, a special occasion in itself, it lives up to all expectations. A stream of delicate, persistent bubbles characteristic of Chardonnay runs through its sparkling golden robe with glints of green. Its nose, a true expression of the chalky soil from which it originates, gives it that very airy feeling and delicate tautness. At once focused, complex and restrained, the nose of this 2008 vintage carries us away on aromas of pear, lime, white pepper and orange blossom, cleverly combined with hints of liquorice and slightly toasted notes.
The attack on the palate is vibrant, with great aromatic sophistication leading us to a persistent minerality and tautness. This is followed by a sensation of complex yet mellow freshness, creating the perfect balance between maturity and a full-rounded flavour. The finish offers a fine balance between sophistication and concentration: aromas of white fruits, grapefruit and mint combine in a delicately honeyed finish.
A slightly more luxurious nature to the 2008 than the great 2007. 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. One for the cellar. Release in 2020. Drink or hold.
Taittinger's 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is being released this year, and it will be worth a special effort to track down. I wrote in August 2019 that this is the finest Comtes de Champagne since the brilliant 2002, and this tasting confirmed that. Offering up a deep and complex bouquet of citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit, warm brioche, crushed chalk, blanched almonds and smoke, it's full-bodied and incisive, with excellent concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. While this is already immensely impressive out of the gates, this 2008 is clearly built for the long haul, and three decades' longevity won't be a challenge.
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.
The balance between ripeness and acidity that is the hallmark of this fine vintage is expressed well in this impressive wine. Tangy, with a strong streak of minerality, it is crisp and rich at the same time. For its fruitiness, it is ready to drink; for more maturity, it will need to age until 2018. *#12, Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2018*
Fresh and graceful, this dances across the palate with its fine, lacy mousse and seamless knit of delicate flavors of ripe Anjou pear, tangerine peel, toasted almond and candied ginger. The flavor range expands through the lasting, chalky finish. Drink now through 2033. 1,800 cases imported.
Lemon to gold ingot, bright and welcoming, an impression enhanced by a fabulous nose of sherbet, brioche, lemon posset and Mirabelle plum. All things nice. The palate is gently luxurious, its sophistication rippling with nuance rather than sheer vulgar power, yellow fruits, the gentlest hints of honey, crushed chalk and then a silky citric grip. In these rather claustrophobic times, the wine carries us along the Corniche in an open-top car, vintage naturally enough, the azure backdrop at its purest on this, the finest of Spring mornings.