2002 Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
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.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
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.
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.
Particularly fine bead. Very bracing acidity. Very fine and filigree even without enormous palate weight. Light and floral on the nose with a delicate spiciness - very flirtatious indeed. Rather restrained at the moment. It may put on weight as the 1995 did. Impressively neat finish. 18/20 points.
A luxurious Champagne from the house of Taittinger, the Comtes de Champagne is made in the cellars of the former Saint-Nicaise abbey in Reims from the best Chardonnay vineys in the Côtes des Blancs. Not produced every vintage, it uses only fress press juice, 5% of which is aged for four months in new oak. The whole blend is then aged for 10 years in the abbey's chalk pits. Mineral and citrus notes weave around the Champagne's elegant bead, and there's wonderful acidity to balance out the sweeer, slightly candied fruit notes on the full mid-palate. Lovely and long.