Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
Localization: Reims, Champagne, France
Tasting Notes: After the tightly coiled, hyper-concentrated 2008, Taittinger's 2011 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne represents a more immediate, charming rendition of this cuvée. Bursting from the glass with aromas of orchard and stone fruit mingled with notions of pastry cream, blanched almonds, and mandarin, it's medium to full-bodied, pillowy and fleshy, with a soft and enveloping profile, lively acids, and a pretty pinpoint mousse. Readers might think of 2011 as a somewhat less reductive and less intense stylistic sibling of 2006, and as it takes on more toasty complexity with bottle age, it will make for immensely seductive drinking.
97 points James Suckling: A firm, fresh Comtes with a tight and composed palate. It’s full-bodied with a racy mid-palate. Long and persistent. Very structured with phenolics and acidity. Minerally. Floral, too. Refreshing and energetic.
The Domain: Chateau de ll Marquetterie - This gentleman’s country estate was to welcome several famous people over the years and under a series of different owners. Pierre-Charles Taittinger, a young cavalry officer, fell in love with it when he joined General Joffre’s chief of staff there in 1915. He bought the château in 1932 and, 200 years after its construction, it became the birthplace of his new Champagne House.
The Taittinger vineyard has become increased in size down the generations and now covers 288 hectares, making it the third-largest Domaine in Champagne.
Furthermore, the Champagne House has the biggest Intramuros vineyard of the city of Reims situated in Val-de-Murigny near the first Roman road connecting Reims to Epernay. It is planted with 37% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier vines distributed equally across 37 different crus which are amongst the best in the Champagne appellation. The vineyard is a perfect reflection of the Taittinger style. It provides 45% of what the Champagne House needs, and is a great asset when it comes to controlling the quality of blends within the framework of responsible viticulture practices which have been awarded a high environmental quality accreditation.