This was tasted at the beginning of our dinner groups evening out last night. Notes forthcoming in a few days as there were 18 wines. Im dedicating a separate thread to this bubbly as it deserves to stand alone and be considered:

2008 TAITTINGER COMTES de CHAMPAGNE BLANC de BLANC- the first amazing thing about this champagne is that I’ve had it in my cellar for over a week and not opened one up until now; the advanced hype has been that this is a stellar bubbly and just needs time to integrate and evolve and I have to agree; no doubt, this is laden with lots of power, but short on finesse; it has bracing acidity, a serious dose of lemon oil exploding the taste and texture sensors, a huge streak of spice running through to the back end and a creaminess that seals the deal, the future deal that is; it’s just a bit discombobulated and I could just feel its struggle to come together and shine ever so brightly; of all the 08`s I ve had, I’m thinking this has as much if not more than the others, Cristal included.



Nice note. I agree that this wine isn’t quite all there yet. It improves quite a bit with time in the glass and will get better over time, but I also think it is has been over hyped. I’ve had the chance to follow this wine for a number of years in pre-release format and I think it was better (more structure, precision, and finesse) a few year ago and would have benefited more with less time aging on the lees. Don’t get me wrong, this is a really nice wine and has some similarities to a cross between 2002 and 2004, but I don’t think it reaches the level of the 1995 or 1996. Some may also prefer 2004 for its more classical lines and 2002 for its richer structure and power; heck great bottles of 2006 are so good right now that, for current drinking, many will prefer that.

In general, 2008 was a great vintage, but much more so for the Pinot grapes than the Chardonnays. The Comtes 2008 BdB is very, very good, but I feel it could have been better. It is near, but not at the top of the pack for 2008 wines. At least that is my opinion. Now, if they would have released this wine two years ago as originally planned, it might be a different story.

fascinating fact - care to share more here? why and when etc?

Still selling 06 and 07?

Great info to know Brad and thanks for jumping in here. I did go back an hour later for a final taste and it was much better albeit still searching for some semblance of balance. The extended lees contact explains why this is so big and unruly at the outset. Even then, I’m impressed by its incredible power and have hopes it can simmer down and come together. I’ll await opening another bottle for some time= famous last words.

As you state and I completely agree, the 06 is just the bomb and I'm now over 40 bottles and counting and all have been stupendous and are actually getting better when I'm really good with them as they have been. I just ordered more on top of a pretty large stash and while not my daily house bubbly in frequency, were drinking them on a bi-monthly basis.


It was a combination of things. The original plan in 2013-2014 was to release the 2006 Comtes BdB in late 2015, the 2007 Comtes BdB in late 2016, and then the 2008 Comtes BdB in late 2017 or the first half of 2018. The backlog of 2004, 2005 Comtes BdB in the marekt built up and then a surplus of 2006 Comtes BdB only added to it. This pushed back the release of the 2007 Comtes BdB almost two years to around mid-2018. This then delayed the 2008 Comtes BdB release initially to 2019 and then evetually to late 2020.

Most of this delay was due to surplus, but with the 2008 Comtes BdB showing so young and tight for a long time, I don’t think Taittinger really minded keeping the wine a little longer on the lees. Original disgorgement plans were for late 2016 and the wine was great with that plan and probably for 2017 too. The final release saw a disgorgement of late 2019 (at least for the first releases) and I think this was past the optimum disgorgement window. The wine has seen plenty of post -disgorgement rest so what we are seeing today is not some type of disgorgement or dosage shock. The wine is very good, but kind of muddled and not as expressive as it was in disgorgements I had from 2013-2016. I wish they would have disgorged on plan (2016) and just held the wine back for release, but that isn’t what happened.


Brad, what do you think of the 2007. I own some and tasted this at the winery in the summer of 2018 (liked it a good bit but it seemed pretty primary). Thought I would get your thoughts.

Well, I’ve been waiting on what the downside of 2008 would be. I knew that there had to one. And so, now we have it: the Chardonnay is not as strong as the Pinot Noir. It sounds like 2002 all over again. Maybe a bad decision to almost double the price of Comtes.


2008 is not quite the same as 2002. The issue with a lot of the 2002 Chardonnay was that it ripened quite quickly as harvest approached and a lot of it was picked too late and had too much maturity to reach full potential. Many winegrowers spoke of ‘roasted Chardonnay’ in 2002. The end result was a number of very showy 2002 BdBs on release, but without the ability to age, gain finesse, and develop extra complexity. Nothing wrong with precociousness in the 2002s, you just have to know when to drink them and love them for what they are. You cannot wish that they become something they are not. In 2008, the issue wasn’t over-ripe Chardonnay, just, on average, grapes of very good, but not great quality.

Looking at the top vintages of the 2000s so far, 2002, 2008, and 2012 are all probably the most hyped and all of them are strong Pinot years (Pinot Noir did best IMO in 2002 and 2012; Pinot Meunier was the star of 2008) and good, but not great Chardonnay years. That is a generalization as there are some excellent BdBs in these years, but BdNs, blends with at least 1/3 Pinot, and Roses excel in these vintages. Fortunately, the most promising vintage of the 2000s to date is probably 2019 and all the grapes from all the regions show incredible promise so far.

In general, the great years in Champagne are when Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier do well. Chardonnay normally does at least okay in every vintage and is very good in a majority of them. For example, 2017 was a year of a lot of bad grapes, but the bad grapes were mostly Pinot grapes. You could still make a good Chardonnay in 2017. In the years when the Pinots are great, you are almost always going to get above average Chardonnay and that makes for a potentially top vintage.


I like the 2007, but the 2008 is better. The 2007 isn’t as good as most examples of the 2006 vintage and I also prefer the 2004 and 2002 to the 2007, but I find it the 2007 to be better than the 2000 and fairly equal to the 2005 in quality. It is a solid Comtes that is worth its price tag, but not an overachiever or great one.

The 2007 Comtes BdB is a star of the vintage (along with Ruinart’s Dom Ruinart BdB) and an example of Chardonnay excelling in a more challenging year. Lots of fruit and elegance in this wine, it just lacks the complexity and intensity of the better years.

at least Brad’s comments temper some of the 08 CdC enthusiasm, mine at least. But it made me buy 2012 Cristal.


Good choice. 2012 Cristal is the better wine. Also, and people might shoot me for this, but IMO the 2010 DP is a better wine today and tomorrow than the 2008 Comtes BdB is. Amazingly, the 2010 DP is now the lower price wine. They are very different wines and some will prefer the style of one to the other. I like both, but based on sheer quality, I would rather have more 2010 DP than 2008 Comtes BdB.

As Public Enemy said, ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’.

Thanks. I was looking for a reason not to pay ~180 for this wine. Not generally a buyer of DP but may try the 2010 based on your rec.

I just got offered the ‘07 for $98. I get that it’s not as good. But also a pretty stark contrast.

I thought the 08 CDC was fantastic, although not quite as good as the 08 Cristal. The value proposition in the vintage is 08 dom, though.

I did try the 10 dom lately and will not be a buyer.

I have been buying a lot of 09 cristal in mag; it appears to be much less expensive than the 08 dom in mag even though it’s substantially more expensive in 750.

As always Brad, I’m grateful for your contribution to all things champagne and remain highly respectful of your knowledge, exposure and expertise. You are my mentor and I’ve learned so much from you over many years and it still keeps coming. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

My one experience with the 08 CdC noted above was quite an eye opener and contrast to almost any other champagne I've ever had. Not to be repetitive, but it was just a HUGE unexpected expression that took me by surprise and still is. If that one bottle is anything like what the others will bring, then I'm in the camp that this will be a much better wine than has been mentioned and understand it might take a few years for it to get to that place. I will remain patient and curious and hopeful. Meanwhile, I'll continue to drain lots of 06 and older vintages of CdC and enjoy Dom Ruinarts, Perignons, Cristals, SWCs and lots of small grower stuff.

And all of this re the 08 CdC is coming from one who prefers elegance and charm, neither of which I experienced in the 08. What’s happening to my palate?



This is part of my worry. For many years prior to release, the 2008 Comtes BdB was full of intensity, power, finesse, elegance and charm, but the final released version seems to have gone over the top and shows neither the qualities it once had and that I expected nor the trademarks of what I feel makes the 2008 vintage special and full of potential. Also, in the big picture, there were some winegrowers/winemakers who were concerned with Chardonnay in the 2008 vintage right from the start. Some found the grapes/juice to show some risk for early maturity or heaviness. Over time, I think this holds some weight as the best wines from 2008 seem to get their finesse and structure from the Pinot grapes.

I’m happy to be wrong and hope it is better than I expect. It is still a good wine and one I will happily drink. Part of my differing view also comes from being fortunate enough to follow the wine for a few years prior to release.

1 Like

I would like to be offered the ‘07 for $98. Amazing price. In the context of other sparklers at this price point this would be an absolute steal. Hmmm, I wonder what the ‘09 CdC will sell for?

If I remember correctly, there isn’t going to be a 2009.

OK folks, here`s a 2nd time around for the bottle in this thread with 48 hours on it and only a small taste remaining:

There’s a whole lot of difference. It’s not nearly as huge, big and clumsy and actually has settled down a bit but by no means is it balanced. The acidity level is much more subtle The flavor profile is much more inclusive this time with honey and ginger accented lemon, lime, apple, kiwi and strawberry guava fruit. The intense streak of spice is now in the background. Even the feel component was not as creamy, but still had nice viscosity. In both cases, the expected hit of brioche i often find in Comtes was not apparent.

So, I won’t conclude this one sampling is the end all and be all, but I’m more hopeful this will evolve into a quality bubbly perhaps even reaching its advanced hype; only time will tell.

Here’s to a stellar outcome. OK, maybe I’m being too optimistic, but I’m not ready to off the remaining bottles.