Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Grands Crus Blanc de Blancs 2011, Reims, France

A Comtes de Champagne is rare. The criteria chosen for its production eliminates the possibility for a large-scale yield. Since its first cuvee in 1952, 30 vintages have seen the light of day. The most absolute expression of the style of the House, the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is always a vintage cuvee. Made from 100% Chardonnay with grapes from the finest crus of the prestigious Cote des Blancs, this cuvee is made only with juice from the first pressing. A small proportion of the blend (5%) is aged in new oak casks, which lends nuance to the harmony of its delicate toasted notes. With these great Chardonnays from its lands, Taittinger knows to be patient; the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs waits in the chalk mines of Saint-Nicaise for 10 years before seeing the light of day and overjoying the palates of consumers. Elegant pale yellow color. Fine light bubbles rise steadily to form a delicate ring of foam. The nose initially presents fresh, refined tangerine-like fruit, and then develops mature notes of ripe fruit, raisin pastries and candied fruit. 2011 vintage: 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.