2011 is the most recent release from Taittinger, and it is a valiant effort for the vintage. Comtes de Champagne has always been one of the top Tete de Cuvees from the Grand Marques Houses and remains slightly undervalued compared to its compatriots, with pricing under the $200 mark. While vintages like 2008 get all of the attention, 2011 was a bit of an underdog, but in the right hands, it can be significant. Comtes is made with 100% Chardonnay from the Grands Crus of the Côte des Blancs region, including Avize, Cramant, Chouilly, Mesnil-sur-Oger villages Oger, which all have some of the best soils for growing Chardonnay.
2011 was an early ripening vintage that then saw a serious drought that forced the vines' roots down deep into the bedrock in search of nutrients and water. The resulting Champagne is a very concentrated and voluptuous version of Comtes with excellent texture and complexity that focuses more on minerality and floral nuances than fruit, making for a more sophisticated example from Taittinger with lovely acidity. It is a bottle for the Comtes lover and, as it stands, is one of the best-priced renditions of Comtes on the market now, with vintages like 2008 way above $200. We have a limited amount arriving next week, and it is an excellent choice for Tete de Cuvee Champagne.
James Suckling 97 points! "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. (5/5/21)"
Wine Advocate (William Kelley) 94 points! "After the tightly coiled, hyper-concentrated 2008, Taittinger's 2011 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne represents a more immediate, charming rendition of this cuvée. Bursting from the glass with aromas of orchard and stone fruit mingled with notions of pastry cream, blanched almonds and mandarin, it's medium to full-bodied, pillowy and fleshy, with a soft and enveloping profile, lively acids and a pretty pinpoint mousse. Readers might think of the 2011 as a somewhat less reductive and less intense stylistic sibling of the 2006, and as it takes on more toasty complexity with bottle age, it will make for immensely seductive drinking. Drink: 2021-2035. (Oct 2021)"
Decanter 94 points! "100% Chardonnay sourced from five grand cru villages: Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger. Superb bouquet revealing scents of mirabelle plums, orchard fruits, brioche, pastry, and liquorice, complicated by classy autolytic notes. On the palate, this remarkable 2011 has a tauter and more fine-boned texture than usual, which is enhanced by bubbles of striking finesse and delicacy. This is indeed a very refined, chamber-music-like Comtes de Champagne that ends ethereally with airy harmonics and chalky notes infused with candied lemon. Dosage: 9g/L. Disgorged: April 2021."