Pale gold and most attractive on the nose with notes of citrus and putty but with admirable density on the palate and such brisk freshness without its tasting like jagged acidity. There is more than a nod to minerality.
It tastes thoroughly modern somehow, in a good way. All the elements in this wine, which reminds me a little of the 1995, are beautifully integrated and yield a subtle, powerful finish – yet I’m sure it has a pretty glorious life ahead of it.
Drink from 2013 onward
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com
A truly wonderful wine from the start but slow to develop in the glass this time. As usual, Taittinger succeeds very well in warm, acid-weak vintages, when the neighbours’ wines often appear flat and simplistic.
Even though the acidity is not particularly accentuated here either, the vineyards’ aromatic citrus fresh touch leaves a fresh, uplifting side to the creamy, fat smoothness.
The finish is certainly chalky and elegant, but it rises to heavenly heights with a 1976-like butterscotch soft, warm, sweet-flavoured embracing pillow.
Drink 2014 - 2025
Richard Juhlin, Decanter.com
The 2005 Champagne Blanc de Blancs Comtes De Champagne is a deep, rich, full-bodied beauty that packs serious amounts of fruit and texture while never seeming heavy or rustic. Loaded with notions of orchards fruits, toast, caramelized citrus and distinct minerality, it has a broad, expansive, yet fine mousse, beautiful mid-palate depth and a great, great finish. It’s well worth seeking out.
Drink 2017 - 2032
Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (December 2017)
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.