The 2008 vintage is warm yet fresh – the perfect expression of our continental climate in Champagne. Comtes 2008 embodies the contrast in climate between sunshine and cool temperatures, giving an intense, crystal-clear evocation of the chalky terroir of the Côte des Blancs Grands Crus from which it derives its identity, its appearance and its precision. The winter was very long and cold with little rainfall. The spring was mild and humid with little sunshine. The vines flowered in the first two weeks of June in fairly cool temperatures. The fruit ripened slowly and steadily, in similarly cool temperatures with some periods of rain. Harvesting took place in the sunshine, though relatively cool temperatures, from 15 September to 10 October, which meant the grapes were ripe and very healthy.
Characteristics of the Wines: freshness, tautness, purity, saltiness, sophistication and aromatic precision.
The Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is made exclusively with Chardonnay from the 5 villages on the Côte des Blancs with «Grands Crus» classification: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnilsur-Oger and Oger. This unique terroir is a strip of land measuring barely 20 km.
The thousand-year-old chalk is present on the surface, creating a real oasis of water and warmth. White grapes flourish beautifully on this type of soil, from which they draw minerality, strength and aromatic sophistication.
To create the Comtes de Champagne, only the «cuvee» is used, for an absolute guarantee of sophistication. Of the wines that make up its composition, 5% have been aged for 4 months in new oak barrels, one third of which are replaced each year. These enhance the inherent qualities of the final blend of toasted notes. During the 12 years it has spent slowly maturing in cellars, time has worked its magic, meaning this vintage comes to us with an extraordinary energy and ageing potential. All that remains now is for it to write the rest of its story.
The moment you open this 2008 vintage, a special occasion in itself, it lives up to all expectations. A stream of delicate, persistent bubbles characteristic of Chardonnay runs through its sparkling golden robe with glints of green. Its nose, a true expression of the chalky soil from which it originates, gives it that very airy feeling and delicate tautness. At once focused, complex and restrained, the nose of this 2008 vintage carries us away on aromas of pear, lime, white pepper and orange blossom, cleverly combined with hints of liquorice and slightly toasted notes.
The attack on the palate is vibrant, with great aromatic sophistication leading us to a persistent minerality and tautness. This is followed by a sensation of complex yet mellow freshness, creating the perfect balance between maturity and a full-rounded flavour. The finish offers a fine balance between sophistication and concentration: aromas of white fruits, grapefruit and mint combine in a delicately honeyed finish.
Really capturing a moment in time, the freshness of this Comtes de Champagne suggests that it offers all the ageing potential that is to be expected of such a cuvée. The finest example of the Maison Taittinger style, the Comtes de Champagne is rare. It is subject to a great deal of care and attention until it reaches peak condition and the criteria for its creation mean that it cannot be produced on a large scale.
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