(2018) From a low-yielding vintage, this is a fabulous wine from Taittinger, a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with 9g/l of residual sugar. Chardonnay is sourced primarily from the Grands Crus of the CÃ´te des Blancs, and Pinot Noir primarily from those of the Montagne de Reims. Fabulously toasty and nutty on the nose, there's an all-encompassing feeling of luxurious depth, then the palate bursts through with a deal of sweetness - fruit rather than sugar, and electrifying acidity, a gorgeous, fleshy plum fruitiness and lovely weight and texture, the finish long with more of those toasty notes to beguile. Use wine-searcher to find plenty of independent stockists, plus big names like Majestic and John Lewis.
(2018) The full five years this blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay spends on the lees in bottle offsets and gives richness to the very low dosage of 3g/l, and along with 40% reserve wines results in a wine that is chalk dry, but not aggressive. There's a lovely lick of seashell salinity on the nose, joining fresh lemony fruit but with a developed breadiness beneath. In the mouth it is very keen and crips, the lively mousse carrying more salts and citrus, a dry apple core acidity and just little vestiges of nuttiness and biscuit in quite a complex character, finishing dry but not austere.
(2018) Nicolas Jaegarâ€™s second vintage, and what a monster: Upon release, a wine of remarkable precision, dazzling pear-like fruit with thundering acidity on the palate.Â This has already mellowed in the last year or so, the pear aromas giving way to something creamier, but still firmly in its 'fruit' phase.Â Waiting for the nutty aromas, but what a scintillating wine! Â Currently at 93/100, this will drink from 2020 through to 2030, and should hit 95/100.Â A real bargain though not yet in stock in the UK at time of writing.
(2018) Based upon the 2013 vintage (Usually 1-2 years older in magnum), this release feels a bit more constricted than normal, and will need a bit of time to reveal its potential.Â Â At the moment, enjoy the zesty grapefruit palate and toasty reserve wine complexity. Leave some bottles in your cellar for a year or two to gain that extra roundness and realise the 91/100 potential, drink 2019-2025.
(2018) A wine that is drinking well out of the gate: lush fruit leaning towards the tropical, supported by a baseline of buttery richness. An easy-going Champagne to be enjoyed in the medium term, and although a rated lower than the 2008 overall, a solid effort none-the-less, and still a bargain.Â Currently scoring 92/100, with a little a bit of upside potential.Â Drink from 2018 until 2024.
(2018) From a single vineyard of 45-year-old Chardonnay vines in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, this is Brut but with a low dosage of 6g/l. It's a fine and refined Champagne, made in stainless steel tanks before it's second fermentation, with a pale colour and fine bead of mousse. Gently bready on the nose, with a herby tang, the palate is pristine with creamy but dry and pure cut apple and pear flavours, a zesty lemon freshness and really good length. Not showy, but very classy.
(2018) One of the most delicious grower Champagnes I've had recently, this blend of wines from 2012 and 2011 is, quite unusually, dominated by 50% Pinot Meunier, along with 40% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The modest dosage of 8g/l gives enough crowd-pleasing softness, while it retains plenty of agility and vigour. Forward, fruity and welcoming on the nose there's a basket of peaches and pears, and background nuttiness. It fills the mouth with buoyant, joyful fruit, walking a lovely line between easy-going drinkability and a bit of real precision.
(2017) Taittinger's 2008 is a great wine, there's no doubt about that. With its pale yellow colour and streaming, minuscule bubbles, the initial aromas are of citrus and salts, with a touch of pasty in the background, and an elegant hint of white flowers. In the mouth it is full of verve and vitality, loads of crisp lemony fruit, but that subtle biscuit and brioche is there, a lovely saline lick of acidity, tightening and extending the finish into an ultra-fine point. Drinking very well, it has finesse and concentrated power, and undoubtedly some serious cellaring potential for those who prefer their Champagnes to show more development.
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