Review Score 100Tyson Stelzer 99Wine Advocate 98Review Score 98
Champagne

2008 Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs

The Collective Review

The most coveted and sought after Champagne in a long time has finally arrived at The Wine Collective in a painfully small allocation. Given a perfect score from James Suckling, and also Tyson Stelzer's title of 'Champagne of the Year', the 2008 'Comtes' as its affectionately known is arguably the finest release ever from this most esteemed house. 40/60% of the fruit comes from Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, the pillars of Comtes, supported by Oger, Chouilly and Cramant. A small portion is aged in young oak barrels for 4–5 months, not for strength, but to add body & subtle notes of toast, brioche, burnt vanilla & coconut to the delicacy of chardonnay. The dosage is kept to 9g/litre.

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The perfect blanc de blancs. Full-bodied with a lovely framework of acidity and dry fruit, such as apples, pears and peaches. Opulent. Dense and muscular. Yet, it’s balanced and harmonious. Line of acidity at the end. Totally in tune. Superb. Deep and complete. Has everything. One for the cellar. It is the greatest Comte ever. It has everything. A perfect upgrade from two years ago. Drink or hold. Read more
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
100 POINTS
James Suckling

The perfect blanc de blancs. Full-bodied with a lovely framework of acidity and dry fruit, such as apples, pears and peaches. Opulent. Dense and muscular. Yet, it’s balanced and harmonious. Line of acidity at the end. Totally in tune. Superb. Deep and complete. Has everything. One for the cellar. It is the greatest Comte ever. It has everything. A perfect upgrade from two years ago. Drink or hold.

Expert Review
99 POINTS
Tyson Stelzer

Taittinger’s flagship Comtes de Champagne holds an enviable position among the very finest blanc de blancs and it is fitting that the lauded 2008 is my Champagne of the Year. The depth of reach of the house into the Côte des Blancs grand crus has made this one of Champagne’s most consistent flagships, and one or two points ahead of Salon in my book in every vintage of the 2000s to date. Comtes de Champagne 2008 is one of the most anticipated champagne releases of the decade. It’s been more than three years since the family treated me to a premature sneak preview of this desperately coiled and reticent thing in the reception room of Taittinger at Saint-Nicaise. At that moment, the most enduring Comtes since 1996 was permanently etched in my psyche. It has been worth the wait, and that magic moment has finally come when this monumental thing is unleashed on the world. Still a gorgeous, brilliant pale straw hue. The purity is pinpoint exact, with the magical youthfulness of pure white fruits that capture the energy and precision of Avize and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the brilliant 2008 season. Its tiny proportion of barrel-ferment kicks above its weight, bringing notes of grilled toast, brioche and vanilla. The presence and concentration are something else, with brilliant stature that holds an astonishing line of undeviating persistence that does not fade in amplitude for thirty seconds after you swallow. Its pure lemon fruit is pristine and radiantly fresh. The chalk minerality of the northern Côte des Blancs elevates with astonishing clarity, at once super-fine and calm and at the same time stark and mouth-embracing. This is classic Comtes of the highest order, with a concentration and presence that is all-encompassing and transfixing, perfectly juxtaposed with an energy and tension that will hold it rock-solid for a lifetime yet.

Expert Review
98 POINTS
William Kelley - Wine Advocate

Taittinger's 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is being released this year, and it will be worth a special effort to track down. I wrote in August 2019 that this is the finest Comtes de Champagne since the brilliant 2002, and this tasting confirmed that. Offering up a deep and complex bouquet of citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit, warm brioche, crushed chalk, blanched almonds and smoke, it's full-bodied and incisive, with excellent concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. While this is already immensely impressive out of the gates, this 2008 is clearly built for the long haul, and three decades' longevity won't be a challenge.

Expert Review
98 POINTS
Antonio Galloni MW - Vinous

Taittinger’s 2008 Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is simply breathtaking. I have tasted it many times over the years in various trial disgorgements and it has never been anything less than compelling. The final, finished wine captures all of that potential. Bright, focused and wonderfully deep, Comtes is a fabulous example of a vintage that expresses so much energy but with real fruit intensity, the signatures that distinguish it from other vintages (1996 comes to mind) that were similarly taut, but more austere in the early going. Although the 2008 impresses right out of the gate, it only really starts to open up with several hours of air. The 2008 Comtes represents the purest essence of the Côtes des Blancs in a great, historic vintage. Readers who can find the 2008 should not hesitate, as it is a truly brilliant epic Champagne that no one who loves the very best in Champagne will want to be without. 98 +

Expert Review
97 POINTS
Roger Voss - Wine Enthusiast

Coming entirely from Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, the new release of this famous Champagne is from a top vintage year. The wine is at perfect maturity, poised between crisp, taut minerality and wonderful toastiness. It is intense, beautifully clear and limpid, a great Champagne. It is ready to drink now and for many years to come.

Expert Review
95 POINTS
Wine Spectator

Fresh and graceful, this dances across the palate with its fine, lacy mousse and seamless knit of delicate flavors of ripe Anjou pear, tangerine peel, toasted almond and candied ginger. The flavor range expands through the lasting, chalky finish.

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Technical Attributes
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