(2022) The Brut Réserve is one of my personal 'go to' Champagnes among the major houses, and though the RRP is £47.99, there are always deals in the £30s. 40% Chardonnay and long ageing in the Taittinger cellars gives lovely biscuit and brioche notes over nutty apple and lemony scents. The fine mousse gives creaminess of texture and flavour, the dosage seems relatively high given the current obsession with ultra-dry styles, but the balance is impeccable, the core of sweet, ripe fruit, developed autolytic characters and sparkling acidity all adding up to a totally satisfying picture.
(2022) A 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, aged a minimum of five years before disgorgement. This has a brioche richness and, although Extra Brut with a dosage of less than 3g/l of sugar, it has a sweet-fruited charm on the palate and is fruit-forward, hinting almost at a tropical character on the nose. That little toasty, nutty impression lingers through the finish, but again the glacé lemon precision of the acidity balances. Approachable in style.
(2022) A Sec Champagne, so possibly with around 15g/l of dosage and noticeably sweeter than the average Brut, it is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. A lovely nose, elegantly biscuity, creamy abd peachy, the palate nicely focused, with glacé fruits and lime, and despite an obvious sweetness, really very good balance, the central spine of acidity and rounding weight of the time on lees giving both sharpness and breadth. Deliciously useful stuff for fresh fruit desserts or perhaps with fish and chips.
(2021) From the second-oldest, dedicated Champagne house founded in 1730, this is 48% Pinot Noir (mostly from Les Riceys), 39% Chardonnay, the balance Pinot Meunier. Coming from a cool year, but now with seven years under its belt, there is some gold to the colour and an attractively creamy, nutty and bruised apple fruit quality. On the palate the dosage is apparent, giving a sweet attack, but a fat and juicy lemony fruit corew and acidity sweeps through. The finish shows a little salts and minerals, in an easy drinking and stylish vintage Champagne. £24.99 as part of a mixed six at Majestic at time of review.
(2020) Pommery doesn't enjoy the greatest of reputations among Champagne afficionados, but I really rather enjoyed this wine, made with around 9g/l dosage and with around 30% reserve wines in the blend. Bready and lightly toasty on the nose, the bubbles are tiny and rise steadily in the glass, and the palate it taut with a lemony thrust of fruit and acid, but a certain peachy sweetness on the mid-palate, with a reasonably long and nicely balanced, tangy finish.
(2020) The wine is based on the 2014 vintage (60%) with reserves from 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 making up the other 40%, and aged five years on the lees, this bottle disgorged in October 2018. Very delicate, ethereal nose, fresh-sliced apple and a touch of something jasmine-like and floral, then some biscuity autolytic notes come through. In the mouth it is ripe and quite sweet. The dosage was not revealed for this wine, but it has some residual sweetness as well as fruit ripeness I think, but all beautifully refined and poised, fresh and with a touch of saline into the finish.
(2020) A touch of gold to the straw colour and lovely, streaming small bubbles. On the nose there is brioche and hazelnut, but a delightfully bready yeastiness, golden delicious and a crisper note of Asian pear and citrus. That focus tighten up even more on the palate, despite a great sweetness and ripeness to the fruit, and a healthy level of dosage, the rounding of waxy lemon and apple skins also gives bite, with beautifully judged acidity into the finish. A terrific wine from one of Champagne's best recent vintages.
(2020) You don’t sense the 10% oak fermentation aromatically, although you do feel it in the creamy, textural finesse. Zesty notes of grapefruit lead into lush, slightly tropical notes, a weighted Champagne without heaviness. More broadly structured than 2008, with less angularity (certainly less toasty), the vintage 2012 is already showing the first flush of fruity generosity (and perhaps lacking a bit of complexity because of that). Fine potential as one expects, yet eminently approachable, I suspect many will struggle to keep their hands off it (I know I will). Enjoy from now until 2028.
(2019) Brut Réserve is hte cornerstone of Taittinger's extremely impressive portfolio: indeed the selection of Grande Marque Champagnes featured in this report includes many of the best and most reliable 'standard' Brut wines from the major houses, and that certainly includes Taittinger. It's also widely available in supermakets and indepedent merchants, and for Christmas many have offers on, bringing the price down to around £27/£28 which is an excellent price for the quality. It's an approachable and crowd-pleasing style with its upfront, fragrant aromas of peachy fruitiness, floral notes and biscuit, the 40% Chardonnay and three years on the lees enhancing that (also 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier). The palate is on the sumptuous side, expansive and creamy, a level of sweetness making it feel rather luxurious, thought that's not at the expensive of excellent acidity and clarity in the finish. On offer in Ocado until the 2nd January 2020, but use the wine-searcher link for many other stockists and plenty of festive discount prices.
(2019) From a fantastic vintage, the Chardonnays for this wine are sourced from villages of the Côte des Blancs, Sézannais, Montgueux and Montagne de Reims. It was aged for eight years in bottle and has a dosage of around 8g/l, so towards the drier end of the Brut scale. The pale gold colour also shows plenty of tiny bubbles, and the nose has biscuit and pastry, and a delicate yeastiness to baked apple pie fruit. There's a lighter touch of floral character in there too. In the mouth it is racy and long, a really good, elegant and dry core of white fruits, a roundness and hint of richness and a long, shimmering finish. A lovely 2008. Apparently this is also in John Lewis in a fancy neoprene carry-bag, but at time of review I saw only the straight vintage (not Blanc de Blancs) on the JL website.