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Premiere: 2013 Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne’

Richard Juhlin

Richard Juhlin

Maison Taittinger unveils Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2013, a champagne of rare intensity resulting from a year marked by a hot, sunny summer! The 2013 vintage reveals the pure, chiselled style and extreme refinement of this exceptional cuvée. [read the full champagne story] 

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Truly encapsulating a specific moment in time, the vibrancy of the Comtes de Champagne 2013 indicates that it possesses all the aging potential one would anticipate from such a prestigious cuvée. With the support of an elegant structure, this wine attains an extraordinary level of depth in this vintage, characterized by ideal ripeness.

In 2013, the grape ripening process was notably slow, resulting in one of the latest harvests in October. Spring made its belated arrival after an unusually protracted and chilly winter. Yet, come mid-April, a remarkable shift occurred, with a surge in heat, dryness, and abundant sunshine, exceeding 800 hours – an unprecedented occurrence in the Champagne region. This period breathed new life into the grape development process. Some light rainfall in early September further contributed to the clusters’ enlargement and accelerated their ripening.

THE COMTES DE CHAMPAGNE TERROIR

‘We made the decision to only retain the five Grands Crus from the Côte des Blancs for the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc cuvee,’

explains Damien le Sueur, the Managing Director of Maison Taittinger.

Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is characterised by its composition of Chardonnays, exclusively sourced from prestigious villages : Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sûr-Oger et Oger. This unique terroir is a narrow strip of land measuring just 20 kilometres. The thousand-year-old chalk on its surface provides the area with a natural water and heat reservoir, creating optimum conditions for white grapes to flourish. This soil lends these grapes their minerality, strength and aromatic delicacy. 

THE CREATION OF A NEW VINTAGE

Production of vintages by Maison Taittinger isn’t actually planned and this is even more the case with Comtes de Champagne. The decision to produce a new vintage is based on a demanding philosophy, a guarantee of the Maison Taittinger signature.

‘All Comtes de Champagne vintages are unique; however, they all belong to the same family with shared DNA, a common thread when it comes to tension, finesse and precision,’

notes Damien le Sueur

The technical process determining the Comtes de Champagne creation precludes any large scale production. “The decision is always based on tasting still wines,” explains the Director General of Maison Taittinger. Whether production is a foregone conclusion or whether it is subject to mature reflection, what prevails is the wine’s potential to evolve. What will this wine reveal in 10, 15, 20 years? Comtes champagnes have great ageing potential. Of course, the wine is no longer the same after being laid down for 40 years; it will develop new aromas of brioche bread, buttered bread, but it will never seem overwhelmed, never heavy, never ‘stewed’.

Comtes de Champagne benefits from a great deal of care and attention until it reaches peak condition. During the 10 years it has spent slowly maturing in cellars, time has worked its magic, meaning this vintage develops an extraordinary ageing potential and energy.

THE SUBTLETIES OF COMTES DE CHAMPAGNE BLANC DE BLANCS 2013

Crystal clear, with a beautiful golden shimmer through colours of straw yellow and reflections of gold, the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc 2013 has a fine, delicate and lively bead.

This vintage captivates through its precision, its density and its blend of ripe citrus fruit flavours with pastry notes. The nose takes you into a world of freshness, opening smoothly to reveal a natural expression of radiant flavours and nuances underpinned by subtle acidity.

On the palate, the wine quickly pulsates as its effervescence unfurls into an invigorating sensation. It tightens up on the finish to leave a lingering taste imbued with ginger and liquorice. Possessing a natural delicacy, this Comtes de Champagne 2013 extends its energy with dynamism and a striking purity of aromas, superbly revealing the saline and mineral austerity of the excellent Côte des Blancs terroirs.

HOW TO PAIR THIS NEW VINTAGE 

Perfect for a special celebration, this champagne is the ideal match for a seafood, shellfish or fish entrée. With an ideal serving temperature of 11°C, this cuvee surprises from the first sips with its incredible youthfulness and its crystal-clear, taut texture. 

2013 Taittinger ‘Comtes de Champagne’

according to Richard Juhlin

100ch

TASTING NOTE RICHARD JUHLIN ‘An extremely prudent, but refined Comtes at launch. Shy despite its 10 years in the cellar, which is considerably longer than usual for this fantastic prestige champagne. 2013 is a vintage that fully relies on finesse, lightness, sublime and delicate nuances that require the utmost level of vigilance and concentration to fully grasp the greatness. A

t a quick glance, this Comtes can appear a bit thin and neutral. With time in the glass and the necessary sensitivity, you will find a beautiful peacock tail of light shades that spreads out lazily and velvety. Chalky minerality with saltiness, a beautiful carpet of white flowers brushed with white peaches and Madagascar vanilla.

Drink as an aperitif already tonight or wait for full bloom after 2030.

91(94)p

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