An Elegant Powerhouse
2000 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne
Wildly Delicious Now, with a Cellar-Worthy Upside
Really, there are just three wines in the Blanc de Blancs pantheon: Krug Clos de Mesnil, Salon and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne.
When you consider the company Taittinger keeps in this elite Champagne category, the value here is unreal.
Even in the prestigious company of Clos du Mesnil and Salon, the Comtes de Champagne more than holds its own, excelling with its powerhouse golden fruit structure and layer upon unctuous layer of baking spices, iron- and chalk-laden minerals. The 100% Chardonnay - sourced entirely from grand cru villages Avize, Le Mesnil, Oger, Chouilly and Cramant - makes for a can’t-help-itself sense of overarching elegance.
The style here is rich, yes, but talk to the biggest Champagne geeks in the world, and you'll more commonly hear things like, "These are champagnes that emphasize elegance over richness, and with their refined demeanor they are well-suited to accompanying fine gastronomy" (Peter Liem, The Champagne Guide).
We agree with Liem: Bring on the Burgundy glasses and the butter-poached lobster. We love that Champagne has a reputation for being a partier, but we also think of it as a serious wine, a candidate for the dinner table or a quiet night in as much as a wild night out. Taittinger comes dressed for any of the above, making it our go-to bottle for gifting and dinner parties as well as cellaring.
The 2000 is exuberant, generous in its full-on aromatics and flavors, but underneath that, there’s a smart backend of clean, sharp acidity. There's a freshness that lends an intellectual thrill as well as a buoyancy on the palate.
It also lends a longevity. Over the last few years, Ian and I have enjoyed numerous phenomenal bottles of old Comtes: the 1995, 1990, 1989, 1982, and several truly formative bottles of the 1976, 75 and 73. The common thread is unmistakable: upon opening, there’s a lushness and intensity; with air, a vibrant structure rounds into form, keeping you coming back for more. This deserves a significant portion in your cellar, alongside the shortlist of its Blanc de Blancs brethren.
On the other hand, we’ve also said before that the Comtes is wildly delicious straight out of the gate, and the 2000 is no exception, in a really beautiful place to try right now, though it will no doubt stand the test of time. At today’s pricing, we recommend a six-pack so you can indulge accordingly as well as cellar for later. Note that the CdC bottles also have a track record of quickly drying up in the marketplace, so today's release marks a chance to get in on the deal before the steady, inevitable price climb begins.
To order, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
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