Gorgeous champagnes from the wonderful 2012 classic proceed to hit the cabinets, however beware, there are usually not many extra to return. And whereas there are some respectable vintages to comply with, earlier than we hit the subsequent probably nice 12 months in 2018, stocking the cellar with no matter yow will discover from 2012 could be clever and shall be rewarded.
There are only a few champagnes from this nice 12 months that may match the magical Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2012.
Taittinger was actually not late to the celebration when it got here to releasing a status champagne, however it could be truthful to say that for a lot of vintages, theirs lagged nicely behind when it got here to pricing. These within the know commonly stocked their cellar with Comtes – it was fabulous shopping for. Nowadays, the value has actually caught up (anticipate to pay round $220 to $300 per bottle for the 2012), however it could be most unfair to recommend that it doesn’t deserve to sit down at that stage.
Taittinger’s Blanc de Blancs gained early fame because of 007, James Bond. Sure, as we speak the Home of Bollinger is inextricably linked with the well-known spy however, within the early days, it was Taittinger which held his favor. Latest articles have recommended that Bollinger pay £10 million for the rights to look – pals from Bollinger guarantee me that this isn’t true and their contribution is little greater than a number of circumstances of the related champagne. This was as a result of the household behind the Bond movies favored working with household companies after they might and a lunch between the 2 established the connection. However who actually is aware of.
That mentioned, the supply additionally claims that the deal was made with Madame Bollinger. Bollinger first appeared in Moonraker, launched in 1979. Madame Bollinger stepped apart from the enterprise in 1971 and handed away in 1977 (the 12 months of The Spy who Cherished Me), in order that appears somewhat unlikely.
Within the Ian Fleming books, Bond drank much more champagne than he did martinis, however drink he did and he shared his love round a number of champagne homes. Within the books, he drinks champagne on 65 events, bourbon 57 occasions, the well-known vodka martinis 42 occasions and, surprisingly, Sake on 37 events. Gin, cognac and crimson wine round two dozen occasions every. Fleming is understood to have seen Taittinger as 007’s favourite champagne. On the display screen, Taittinger appeared briefly within the early days, however then the rights have been offered by Cubby Broccoli, who organized a sponsorship take care of Dom Perignon.
Bollinger adopted, although whether or not this was by means of sponsorship or a handshake deal between pals is a kind of issues we will most likely by no means totally know.
It’s mentioned that Claude Taittinger and Fleming met on the set at one stage and the 2 turned pals. Provided that the primary movie was Dr No and it was launched in 1962, the well-known letter written by Fleming to M Taittinger confirms that it can’t have been throughout that first movie (the letter is dated 1963).
Fleming was solely with us for yet one more movie, so presumably they met on the set of ‘From Russia with Love’. In any occasion, that first movie featured Dom Perignon, and the one movie wherein Taittinger appeared was ‘From Russia with Love’, which was launched in 1963 (aside from the 1967 spoof of On line casino Royale, the place Peter Sellers as Bond is served a ‘rain-cooled Taittinger’).
Taittinger does fare somewhat higher within the novels.
It’s a bit arduous to see simply which Taittinger is loved in ‘From Russia…’, however as the primary launch of the Comtes, their status champagne, was the 1952, it appears doubtless that was it. It’s known as the ‘Riserva Comtes de Champagne’’ early within the movie after which, later when on the prepare, 007 asks for a bottle of the ‘Blanc de Blancs’, the form of the bottle actually suggests it was the Comtes.
Within the first novel, ‘On line casino Royale’, Bond orders each the Taittinger 1945 and a Blanc de Blancs Brut 1943 – time of writing was too early for the primary Comtes to have been launched. Bond really says, “Give me a Taittinger Blanc de Blancs… It isn’t very well-known, however it’s the greatest champagne on the earth”. Taittinger was not simply 007’s first literary champagne, but additionally his final, showing within the quick story ‘007 in New York’, which was a part of the gathering titled ‘Octopussy and the Dwelling Daylights’, revealed in 1966. Bond served the Taittinger Rose along with his personal particular recipe for scrambled eggs.
There may be one additional Bond-Taittinger connection. Justin Llewelyn, the son of Desmond Llewelyn, who performed the much-loved Q so many occasions, was Taittinger’s British model ambassador for a number of many years.
Regardless of and unsurprisingly, we now have digressed.
We have now checked out Taittinger and its historical past on a few events already.
Suffice to say, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs was created with the 1952 in honour of the Comtes de Champagne – the Counts of the Champagne area – and most particularly, Thibaud IV. Whether or not fact or legend, Depend Thibaud IV, the King of Navarre, headed for the Crusades in 1239. The residence of Thibaud IV has belonged to the Taittinger household since 1932 and so they have undertaken appreciable renovations. When Thibaud ultimately returned from the Crusades, he introduced again two “treasures”, as tokens of his love for Blanche de Castille.
The primary was the Damask rose. I’m suggested that apparently this rose was then grafted on to the Gallica rose, frequent all through Europe, and apparently all roses now grown in Europe come from this crossing.
The second treasure was a brand new grape selection. This grape turned out to be the ancestor of the Chardonnay grape. How becoming that the wine that honors him ought to then be a blanc de blancs (100% Chardonnay). Use of the identify for his or her status champagne was approved by Depend Guillaume, the final descendant of the ‘Comtes de Champagne’.
The wine is constituted of numerous Grand Cru villages of the Cotes des Blancs – nicely generally known as dwelling to the best Chardonnay in all Champagne – together with Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Chouilly, Cramant and Avize. First press juice solely and 5% of it should spend 4 months in oak, one-third of which is refreshed yearly. It’s a part of the method of guaranteeing most complexity. The wine then spends round ten years on lees within the well-known Gallo-Roman chalk quarries (crayeres) beneath the Saint-Nicaise Abbey in Reims. These crayeres have been carved out within the 4th century and have been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage web site.
Dosage will differ – within the Seventies, it sat across the 15-16 grams/litre – however is now underneath 10 grams/litre – 9, to be particular, for the 2012. Manufacturing varies additionally, however anticipate it to be between 150,000 and 300,000 bottles, a fraction of what we see from some homes with their status releases. Whereas the precise figures are usually not accessible, 2012 is taken into account a smaller classic.
2012 is the 39th launch of this nice wine since its first look.
2012, as I’ve famous a number of occasions, is a shocking classic in Champagne. Whether or not it tops 2008 is a matter for private choice. For me, 2008 is the best classic I’ve tasted because the scintillating 1988s, although many come shut. If pushed, I’d have the 2008 Comtes the proverbial whisker forward, however I’ll most fortunately drink both, any day of the week. They’ll each excite winelovers and engender debate for the subsequent couple of many years. There are some who’ve recommended that 2012 is ‘a Pinot 12 months’. Probably, however there was additionally some wonderful Chardonnay grown that classic as nicely.
First enticement is the gleaming pale gold hue. The nostril then means that that is the right illustration of nice Chardonnay from the Cotes des Blancs from 2012. Richly flavored, with hazelnuts, white peaches, lemon rind, hints of apricot, fig and quince. Think about freshly churned butter on straight-from-the-oven croissants. A contact of almond on the end. Already splendidly complicated, engaging and ever-so-finely balanced.
A line of salinity runs by it, maybe not fairly to the extent we noticed with the 2008, however there, nonetheless. A champagne with chunk and steadiness, finesse and sophistication. Gorgeous size and a seductively creamy, satiny texture. There’s a fantastic minerality that helps the wine. It’s totally approachable at this early stage, however don’t let that deter you from stocking the cellar. Properly cellared, it should present immense pleasure for the subsequent 15 to 25 years. As for serving with meals, for me, this champagne is a meal in itself.
As talked about, for me, that is the merest whisker behind the wonderful 2008, however regardless of. Great stuff. This isn’t only a nice blanc de blancs, nor an awesome champagne: it’s a nice wine. 98.
For extra data, please go to www.taittinger.com/en/comtes-de-champagne#la-legende-thibaud-iv
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