A beautifully elegant and ultra-pure nose serves up attractively layered and mature aromas of spiced pear, white rose, citrus, brioche and hints of green apple. There is very good, if not stunning, complexity to the moderately vibrant flavours that are supported by an impressively refined effervescence before terminating in a balanced, dry, clean and lingering finish. For my taste, this has arrived at its apogee, though it should have no trouble holding for at least another decade.
Allen Meadows, Burghound.com (October 2020)
We started with a sensational 2002 Taittinger Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne. My word, this is exquisite, representing everything I adore in champagne. Limpid gold in hue, it has a compelling bouquet of walnut, smoke, dried honey and shucked oyster shells that I found utterly entrancing.
The palate does not disappoint, displaying an irresistible rounded texture and perfectly pitched acidity that cuts through the flavours of lemon curd, orange pith and crushed stone. It was as if this champagne tried to give you everything you desired and did it with such aplomb that you could not help but be smitten. Undoubtedly, it will cruise at a high altitude for many years.
Drink 2020 - 2040
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (August 2020)
Taittinger's 2002 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is off the charts. I have tasted the 2002 now many times, and it has never been less than thrilling. A vivid kaleidoscope of pure Chardonnay aromas and flavours opens up in the glass. The 2002 is incredibly rich yet totally weightless and impeccable in its balance. All the classic Comtes notes are there, but with a level of detail and nuance, I don't think I have ever seen before.
The 2002 is breathtakingly beautiful today, but it also appears to have the stuffing to age for decades. Personally, I would be looking to buy the 2002 in magnums if at all possible. Sadly, there is little wine to go around as 2002 was a very short crop. Readers who can track down the 2002 are in store for something truly great.
Drink 2013 - 2042
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (October 2012)
The 2002 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is beginning to drink very well, wafting from the glass with a brilliant bouquet that mingles aromas of pear, citrus confit and dried fruits with notions of marzipan, brioche, oyster shell and smoke.
The wine is full-bodied, broad and textural on the palate, with a layered and multidimensional core, considerable concentration and a long, penetrating finish. Racy and precise though the wine is, this is a broader, richer rendition of Comtes than the compelling 2008 preceded in this tasting, but it's hard to choose between the two in terms of quality.
Drink 2019 - 2040
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (August 2019)
Tasted blind. A pretty light nose – almost floral, with a preserved ginger top note. Nicely integrated already. Very well balanced and well mannered. Ready. Transparent. Quite rich and long. A Blanc de Blancs? Dom Ruinart?
Drink 2013 - 2025
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (December 2019)
This shows incredible complexity with notes of preserved lemons, beeswax, chamomile, quince and porcini mushrooms. Salted caramel also. It's full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with rich and salty layers. Fantastic freshness, too. Powerful and keeps going. This was disgorged in 2012—ten years on the lees and ten years in bottle.
Drink or hold
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (August 2023)
About this WINE
Taittinger is one of the few family-owned independent Champagne houses in Reims. It produces a very classy Non-Vintage blend and complex Vintage Champagnes as well.
Its top Champagne is Comtes De Champagne - first produced in 1952, it is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from 6 Grand Cru sites in the Côte de Blancs. This is finely aromatic, rich, creamy Blanc de Blancs at its best, though patience is required as the wine should not be approached for at least ten years.
Brut denotes a dry style of Champagne (less than 15 grams per litre). Most Champagne is non-vintage, produced from a blend from different years. The non-vintage blend is always based predominately on wines made from the current harvest, enriched with aged wines (their proportion and age varies by brand) from earlier harvests, which impart an additional level of complexity to the end wine. Champagnes from a single vintage are labelled with the year reference and with the description Millésimé.
Non-vintage Champagnes can improve with short-term ageing (typically two to three years), while vintages can develop over much longer periods (five to 30 years). The most exquisite and often top-priced expression of a house’s style is referred to as Prestige Cuvée. Famous examples include Louis Roederer's Cristal, Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, and Pol Roger's Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill.
Chardonnay is often seen as the king of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.