The 1996 Comtes de Champagne continues to drink beautifully, with the nose and palate now starting to really blossom nicely and the well-integrated chassis of the vintage’s acidity providing precision and lift on the backend. The bouquet is starting to transition into maturity, wafting from the glass in a complex blend of apple, pear, a touch of orange zest, salty minerality, brioche and a delicate topnote of nutskin. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with racy acids, a lovely core of fruit, fine mineral drive, pinpoint bubbles and a very long, very refined finish. A great bottle of Comtes that is still in climbing mode, but getting closer to its apogee. (Drink between 2019-2060)
Taittinger’s 1996 Comtes de Champagne is another highlight. The flavors are only now beginning to show elements of complexity, a great sign for aging. Gently spiced and buttery notes suggest the 1996 is about to enter the early part of its maturity, where it is likely to stay for another decade or so. (AG)
One would be hard-pressed to find a tastier, more outgoing Rosé for, having tasted them all, this one takes no back seat to anything on either side of the Atlantic. It mixes lively outgoing fruit with attractively creamy yeasts in its aromas and follows through on the palate with a lovely, polished, rich mousse and deep flavors that are much influenced by fruit. *Three Stars*
Green-gold. Vibrant, youthful, precise aromas of green apple, Meyer lemon and dusty citrus zest. Racy and taut on the palate, with a strong mousse and impressive focus and concentration to the tangy apple and citrus flavors. Juicy, palate-staining finish of striking purity. This is clearly an outstanding Champagne but needs some more time in bottle. 95+ (JR)
Hugely toasty, nutty, mature, this is a delicious wine. The richness of the apple and cream flavors gives way to a finely balanced wine that keeps lightness in play with intense flavors. Drink now, it is in perfect condition. *Editors' Choice*
There's richness to offset the vibrant structure of this 1996. Shows toast, candied berry, lemon zest and mineral flavors. Balanced, ending with a chalky sensation around the gums. Still very youthful, with a long life ahead. (BS)
As concentrated and fully oaked as a grand cru Burgundy, the sweet ripeness of this wine is cut by its earthy chalk-infused structure. Scents of caramel and chamomile take it out of the context of Champagne, while the fine bubbles bring it back. The flavors are powerful and sophisticated, and will need years to fully mature.
Deep straw. Very hedonistic development on the nose. And the intrinsic richness of this cuvée nicely overcomes the high acid of 1996. Broad and flattering. A little chewy and stolid. Robust rather than fine texture. 17.5/20 (JR)
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