There are plenty of things to do on a Friday night in Soho but I couldn’t think of a better way to spend last Friday then in the company of Vitalie Taittinger going through a flight of vintages of her family’s prestige Comtes de Champagne at the Groucho Club. Taittinger is one of the few big houses that is still owned (again) by the family so I find it fascinating when you get to meet someone like Vitalie or her brother Clovis (he was in town a few months ago) who share a name with a great champagne house that has been around for hundreds of years. Ok, I admit it, I am a bit of a champagne groupie 😉
Vitalie was in town to showcase their latest vintage of the Comtes, the 2004 but they also had on hand plenty of Comtes de Champagne 2000 and the 2002 for comparison purposes. The Comtes is a prestige blanc de blanc (100% chardonnay) made from the finest crus of the Cotes de Blancs. 5% of the blend is aged in oak which gives the wine nuance and complexity.
So what did I think of the 2004? I liked it, showing a lot of fruit character, it was tasting young and is still developing in the bottle. It’s certainly got a lot of finesse on the palate and I think this champagne is just starting out. Of the 3 we tasted, the 2002 was my favourite. Finely balanced on the palate with brioche and ripe fruit notes on the nose, it was a pleasure to drink and the first one gone. We had to settle for more of the 2000 in the end. The 2000 has certainly matured into a rich champagne, very toasty on the nose and palate, it has evolved into showing dried fruits and has an earthy,savoury character to it.
The Comtes de Champagne 2004 has just been released here in the UK. I was recently introduced to a new wine website, CellarvieWines. They have a great selection of champagnes at very good prices, including a variety of Taittinger champagnes as well as magnums of the Taittinger Brut Rose, which we had as an aperitif on Friday. So check them out, they deliver.
A big thank you to Vitalie and to Taittinger for putting on a great tasting.