2002 Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne

SKU #1114856 98 points John Gilman

 The 2002 Comtes has been a legend in the making since its first release, and at age twelve, the wine is starting to really stretch its wings and aim for the stars. The utterly brilliant nose is still a tad on the reticent side, but as the wine warms up in the glass, it offers up a stellar constellation of pear, delicious apples, complex chalkiness, brioche, apple blossoms, incipient notes of pastry cream, plenty of smokiness and a topnote of lemon peel. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and utterly seamless, with stunning focus and balance, unrepentant refinement, elegant mousse, zesty acids and stunning cut and grip on the endless and dancing finish. I am hard-pressed to think of a finer young vintage of Comtes de Champagne that has ever crossed my path! It seems to me that it is still infanticide to be drinking this wine today, as there is so much more to unfold with more bottle age, and I would not touch a bottle until it starts to close in on its twentieth birthday. Chapeau! (Drink between 2020-2075)  (9/2014)

98 points Robert Parker's 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. (AG)  (11/2012)

95 points Vinous

 Light, bright gold. A heady, intensely perfumed bouquet evokes lemon curd, pear skin, iodine, honeysuckle and toasty lees, with notes of ginger and honey emerging with air. Strikes an impressive balance of power and restraint, opening slowly to offer vibrant citrus and orchard fruit flavors, along with intense floral and spice nuances. Clings with superb tenacity on the gently smoky finish, which features zesty orange pith and mineral qualities. By the way, the 2004 Comtes de Champagne Rose has become even more intense over the last 12 months, gaining in both mineral and floral intensity. I know the old saw about aging rose Champagne but this is a wine that is built for the long haul. (JR)  (11/2012)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

 The latest release of the legendary Comtes de Champagne comes from a great vintage. It has full, toasty bottle-age notes that give the wine depth of flavor, with a ripe, rounded mouthfeel and taut acidity. An almond note combines with the citrus-driven acidity on the finish. (RV)  (12/2012)

94 points Wine Spectator

 *Collectibles* 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. Drink now through 2025. (AN)  (12/2012)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 From its first, complex, generously yeasty aromas and on through its very deep, distinctly autolyzed flavors, this rich and compelling wine goes beyond the normal bounds of Blanc de Blancs. It is amazingly rich and charged by a very fine stream of unending bubbles, and it has the vitality that its genre predicts, but it has more volume and comes with more layers of interest than we anticipate from a Chardonnay cuvée. It will drink wonderfully with any number of lighter foods, but it is a complex and most involving wine that we would gladly sip slowly on its own.  (12/2012)

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Price: $224.99
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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Champagne

- The French region of Champagne (comprised of the towns of Rheims, Epernay, and Ay) was the first region in the world to make sparkling wine in any quantity. Today, the name of the region is synonymous with the finest of all sparkling wines, and winemaking traditions of Champagne have become role models for sparkling wine producers, worldwide. Surprisingly, the region of Champagne is now responsible for only one bottle in 12 of all sparkling wine produced. Styles of champagne range from the basic brut (often blends of several vintages), single vintage champagnes, and rose. View our bestselling Champagne.