Based on first pressing Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, the 2002 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs opens with a precise, fresh and concentrated bouquet of ripe fruits on the nose. On the palate this is a less rich and opulent 2002, but its complexity, intensity and tension in combination with the linear freshness, purity and serious expression in the long and mineral finish, make this a top wine of the vintage. Drink 2016-2021
Taittinger’s 2002 Comtes de Champagne is a great way to kick things off. Rich, radiant and lush, with all of the exotic ripeness of the year in evidence, the 2002 Comtes delivers the goods. This bottle is perhaps a bit more forward than others have been, but it is nevertheless very fine. Drink: 2017 - 2037
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. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and textural, with a layered and multidimensional core, considerable concentration and a long, penetrating finish. Racy and precise though the wine is, this is a somewhat broader, richer rendition of Comtes than the compelling 2008 that preceded it in this tasting, but it's hard to choose between the two in terms of quality. 2019-2040
One of the most recognised Champagne Houses in the world, Taittinger was originally founded in 1734 by Jacques Fourneaux. It was not until 1931 that its connections to the Taittinger family were established with it was purchased by founder, Pierre Taittinger. The hallmark of the Taittinger blend is the high percentage of Chardonnay which adds a natural elegance and creaminess to the wines. Today, it remains owned and managed by the Taittinger family - a rarity in the region for a producer of this size - and is run by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger.
Champagne, the world's greatest sparkling wine, needs little introduction - with imitations produced in virtually every country capable of growing grapes, including such unlikely candidates as India and China. The Champagne region, to the north of Paris, has the most northerly vineyards in France, with vines grown on slopes with a southerly exposure to maximise sunlight. The soil is chalky, providing an excellent balance of drainage and water retention. The key to the wine is in the cellar - the bubbles result from a second fermentation in the bottle and the rich toasty flavours in great Champagne come from extended bottle ageing on the yeasty lees. Until the eighteenth century, the wines produced in the Champagne area were light acidic white wines, with no hint of sparkle. However glass and closure technology developed at that time and it was not long before Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Hautvilliers, started experimenting with blends and produced the first recognisable champagne. In a world accustomed to still wines, the advent of champagne was almost a flop. It was saved when it became fashionable at the French court as a result of Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompadour commenting "Champagne isthe only wine that lets a woman remain beautiful after she has drunk it." And the rest is history, with famous (or infamous) champagne lovers including Casanova, Dumas, Wagner, Winston Churchill, James Bond and Coco Chanel.