Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger was in London last week to present the fabulous new Comtes de Champagne release, the first since 2016. With new winemaker and chef de caves, Alexandre Ponnavoy at the helm, it looks like the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Taittinger.
The 2007 vintage is regarded by Taittinger as a very good vintage in Champagne with an especially warm winter resulting in early vegetative growth. The harvesting started with Chardonnay being picked in early September.
Greg Sherwood MW with UK Taittinger importer Patrick McGrath MW and Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, President of the Grandes Marques.
The character of the vintage, according to Alexandre, “showed fine freshness, crystalline purity, ample complexity and an intricately bright acidity underpinned by a fine, pin point salinity” which is generally regarded as the key to the 2007’s great success.
The Four Principles of Comtes de Champagne:
Extremely small production, 10 years of bottle aging on the less before disgorgement, five top Grand Cru sites, making a wine that is “an affordable luxury”… appealing to real Champagne connoisseurs, not just millionaires or billionaires.
1 Unique terroir
2 A long vinification history allowing a wine personality to develop
3 Vinification with attention to detail
4 Good forests, using a small amount of oak foudre for ageing a portion of this wine to add a little “salt and pepper” to its character and complexity.
Tasting with new chef de caves Alexandre Ponnavoy.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut 2007, 12 Abv.
A fantastic young Champagne with a colourful personality. Chalky aromatics bristle out the glass, interwoven with dusty limestone minerality, lemon and lime cordial and yellow grapefruit notes. Sublime balance, harmony and creamy textural elegance, this really is such a sympathetic wine with delicious mouth watering acidity and vibrancy. The wine oozes breeding and regal heritage but without any pretentious airs or graces, delivering palate depth, structure and a focused creamy mousse with delectable notes of lemon biscuits, buttered white toast, lemon bon bons, hazelnuts and a wonderful zesty white peach pastille complexity. A luminous bright citric core, refined palate breadth and a creamy sour dough and buttered brioche finish. So, so lovely. A worthy successor to the block buster 2005 and 2006. Drink now or cellar for 15+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 97/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Some of the other “treats” at the launch lunch.