£535 per 6 bottle case in bond
97 points, James Suckling, jamessuckling.com
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. September 2021 release. Drink or hold.
19.5++ points, Matthew Jukes, matthewjukes.com
This epic wine is set for release on Thursday this week, so this is a sneaky preview. I imagine that hordes of merchants will be scrabbling for stock, so you should be able to track it down with ease. Let’s cut to the chase. By contrast to the Bollinger, Comtes is not a one-off, nor anything out of the ordinary. It is a label that all committed Champagne lovers adore. Predictable perhaps. But, of course, one thing does vary, and that is the vintage. The ‘worst’ Comtes I ever tasted was rather lovely. The ‘best’, and there have been many (1959, 1966, 1996, 2002, 2006) are all sublime and you can now add 2011 to this list. Taittinger always seems to shun the spotlight, unlike Dom Perignon and other more attention-seeking brands and this modesty rather suits this House. I did something that I never do after first tasting my sample bottle. I was so shocked with the sheer class that I sealed the bottle with a simple Champagne stopper and then tasted it again and again over two days. The stress-testing sorts the wheat from the chaff. It is unlikely that anyone who bought a bottle would do this. Still, I like to see how a potentially great wine evolves, opens up, sometimes falls over, and sometimes blossoms over a few days because it gives me an indication of its potential and its true baseline of quality. The fruit is so tense, grand and layered it is remarkable. The flavour, the fizz, the length, the momentum and the overall halo of greatness did not change one iota over nearly 60 hours of being open with no preservation whatsoever. This is a genius, B de B and while it tastes scintillating now, I am confident that it will amaze Comtes fans for decades to come.
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