2007 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne: "Impossible to resist..." (95-98 pts)Thursday, November 7
Vitalie Taittinger takes over from her father Pierre-Emmanuel as president of Champagne Taittinger this month, and we think this deserves marking with an offer of the superb quality (and superb value) Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2007.
Taittinger remains family-owned. In 2005, the extended family decided to sell the business to a US private equity firm, against Pierre-Emmanuel's wishes. Just a year later he managed to buy it back for $850 million. On retiring, he commented "I will have no mistress any more. My wife will be happy." In the last election, there were rumours of a bid for the French presidency.
Traditional as Champagne may be, it has excellent form when it comes to women running great houses; from Barbe-Nicole Clicquot and Lily Bollinger to Margareth Henriquez, the current president of Krug. Vitalie (pictured below, with her father and brother Clovis, Taittinger's GM) has helped to run the business for the last eleven years.
As a nod to Taittinger's departing president, we will quote him once more:
“I was told by a billionaire the other day that he no longer serves Comtes de Champagne because it looks as if he can’t afford the best."
With scores ranging from 95-98 points and at around half the price of equivalent champagnes from Krug and Cristal, the 2007 is without doubt the best value of all the prestige cuvées.
It is worth noting that as Comtes is only made in the best years, there will be no releases from 2009, 2010 or 2011, so we recommend adding this to your cellar now. Just in time for those combined Christmas/election/nativity play drinks!
Offered in bond and immediately available.
£450 IB per case of six bottles.
"Aged under cork, which may explain why the magnum is actually much more aromatic and advanced than the bottle. Really exciting reductive custard powder! Lovely energy and refreshment. 18 points." Jancis Robinson, Jul 2019
“... composed entirely of Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger (Côte des Blancs). The citrus-golden colored 2007 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the fourth in a row after the 2004 vintage (which will be followed by 2008 whereas there will be no Comtes from 2009, 2010 and 2011) and opens with a nobly intense yet nuanced bouquet of ripe fruits, chalk, iodine and a touch of brioche. The wine indicates a coolish and precise character on the clear, flinty nose that develops lemon, pastry and floral notes. On the palate, this is Taittinger at its best: clear, fresh, lush and elegant, offering both sensuality and noble elegance. The 2007 reveals great finesse and is a perfect expression of both the Taittinger style and the Côte de Blancs. The wine (of which 5% has spent four months in oak barrels to give roundness and a touch of toast) is tightly woven, well concentrated and even juicy yet always clear, fresh, pure, fine and elegant. The finish is intense, clean, vivacious and complex, with good grip and lingering salty minerals that indicate good aging potential. Drink 2018-2030. 95 points.” Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate, Jun 2018
“This is quite beautiful. There’s lovely concentration of citrus fruit with some subtle hazelnut and toast, as well as good structure and fine acidity. Compact and dense, but at the same time it’s pretty and delicate. There’s a touch of grapefruit and a refined spiciness, as well as riper notes of apricot and peach. But the main theme here is beautifully focused, pure citrus fruit. Just beautiful. 96 points”. Jamie Goode, Wineanorak.com, May 2018
“The 2007...will be nearly impossible to resist upon release. Soaring aromatics, mid-weight structure and soft contours give the 2007 its alluring personality. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, chamomile and green pear add brightness and freshness throughout, with a persistent, clean finish that makes it impossible to resist a second taste....Although the 2007 does not have the explosive energy or verticality of the profound 2006, it will drink better earlier. The 2007 has been positively brilliant on the three occasions I have tasted it so far. 96 points.” Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, December 2017
“This is a step up from the linear and fresh 2006. It shows subtle depth and power with a dense block of vivid fruit that's highlighted with lemon zest, green apples and hints of white peaches. Just the right amount of praline and nuts on the nose. Fine and tight bead give the Champagne a luxurious mouthfeel. One for now or the cellar. Drink or hold. 98 points.” James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, Dec 2018