Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2002
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
Its pale golden yellow is characteristic from the best Chardonnay grapes in the Cote des Blancs. The very fresh nose offers a wonderful combination of minerality and fruity sweetness. This is very quickly followed by elegant fruit aromas which include mandarin and orange peel. The mid palate is ample, intense and rich. Notes of mandarin, fresh pineapple and lightly candied fruit balance with the acidity. The finish is very expressive. Made with 100% Chardonnay.
A perfect accompaniment to first courses such as seafood and shellfish.
The Wine Advocate - "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 flavors opens up in the glass. The 2002 is at once incredibly rich yet also 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 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. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2042."
Wine Spectator - "A rich base of toasted brioche and briny mineral supports flavors of poached quince, white peach puree, fleur de sel, pastry and smoked almond. There's a quiet verve to this wine, with a fine, silky texture throughout. "
Champagne Taittinger Winery
Champagne Taittinger was established in 1931 by Pierre Taittinger on the foundations of Forest-Forneaux, itself established in 1734 and the third-oldest wine producing house of Champagne. Taittinger is today proprietor of approximately 600 acres of vines among which are included parcels in the one hundred - percent rated villages of Cramant and Avize in the Cote des Blancs; and Bouzy, Mailly, Ambonnay and Verzenay in the Montagne de Reims. The Taittinger Estate is one of the three most extensive in the Champagne district, and the firm's major holdings in Chardonnay vineyards are the physical expression of the Taittinger philosophy and style. View all Champagne Taittinger Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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