An elegantly fresh and delicate Champagne blended from a high proportion of Chardonnay grapes to yield a refined flavor palette of pear and stone fruits offset by warm, yeasty notes and hints of breadcrust.
Wine Advocate 90 points - The deliciously delicate Taittinger NV Brut La Francaise L2383PK01300 is strikingly buoyant and dominated by subtle scents of yeast-tinged flowers and foliage - honeysuckle and mint immediately come to mind - that allude to its roughly one-quarter Meunier component, with a luscious matrix of lime-drenched honeydew melon and apple well-supported by discreet residual sugar leading to a sustained and refreshing finish. Hints of toasted almond and vanilla-tinged cookie dough lend a faintly confectionary cast that manages to harmonize with the dominant fruitiness and florality, while piquancy of apple and lime pit serve for counterpoint. That Taittinger’s standard-bearing cuvees (outside the U.S., the cuvee in question is called “Brut Reserve”) are relatively short on Pinot Noir by standards of that genre is obvious on tasting. Enjoy this distinctive success over the coming year.
Wine Spectator 91 points - An elegant aperitif style, with racy acidity and a fine, creamy mousse. Shows a layered mix of pastry cream, poached apple, slivered almond and lemon zest. Drink now through 2019. 1,500 cases imported.-AN
(Dec 15 2014)
Vinous 89 points - (roughly 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier; 9 g/l dosage; L3348NA09100): Light gold. Poached pear, peach, orange and honey on the fruity nose. Broad and fleshy on entry, then tighter and more tangy in the mid-palate, offering juicy citrus and orchard fruit flavors with subtle ginger and toasted grain nuances. Shows a supple, round character on the finish, with the ginger and peach notes repeating. Note that this bottling is labelled as ”Reserve” for every country aside from the United States. In fact, I tasted a bottle labeled as such here in New York this fall, from Lot L3348NA9200. How it wound up here, I’ve no idea.
Wine Enthusiast 89 points - One of the most familiar brands of Champagne, this is a soft, finely blended wine. With its fresh fruits, touch of toast and a crisp aftertaste, it is dominated by Chardonnay, in the Taittinger style. A steely edge creeps in at the end, leaving a wine that is bright and ready to drink.
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Taittinger Brut Reserve is a blend of Chardonnay wines (40%) and Pinot wines (60%) from 40 different vineyards and matured to perfection. Such a high proportion of Chardonnay is seldom found among the great champagnes.
It can be drunk as an aperitif or with food, preferably with an evening meal.
It is a perfect accompaniment to white meat (lamb with chanterelles), crayfish or mushroom quiche
In 1982, Robb Talbott began planting his original Diamond T Estate vineyard on a cold, windswept mountaintop in Carmel Valley. Conventional wisdom was against him, and many said the steep, exposed site with its massive shale boulders was “too cold,” “too difficult to plant” and “too challenging to grow on.” But Robb had a vision-a vision he held on to as he prepared the cliff-side vineyard by hand, breaking apart its massive boulders with a 12-pound sledgehammer. “It all began with my first taste of a great Burgundy,” says Robb.Diamond T Vineyard Map “That experience profoundly shaped my palate, and as I grew older I knew that I wanted to create unique and exceptional Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Wines that took their inspiration from the traditions of Burgundy, but had their roots in California’s soils.”
To achieve this goal, Robb Talbott established one of the Central Coast’s most esteemed estate programs, featuring two of Monterey County’s grand cru sites: Diamond T Estate and the legendary Sleepy Hollow Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Though located a mere 18 miles apart, these two vineyards offer remarkably different growing conditions, yielding rich and distinctive Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that embody their unique terroirs.
At its heart, the history of Talbott Vineyards is the story of one family’s determined focus and commitment to excellence. In 1950, Robert Talbott, Sr., his wife Audrey, and their son, Robb, moved to Carmel, California, where they started a luxury tie company. Audrey sewed the ties by hand and Robert, Sr. sold them up and down the California coast. During silk buying trips to Europe for their business, the Talbotts visited French and Italian vineyards and soon became interested in fine wine. As their interest grew, they aspired to produce their own California wines, using the Burgundian techniques that they had become passionate about.
Diamond T ShaleIn 1982, Robb planted Diamond T, and the Talbotts built their original winery in idyllic Carmel Valley. For his first plantings, Robb selected the storied Corton-Charlemagne Chardonnay clone, planting it in Diamond T’s almost soil-free chalky shale. Robb knew that the vines would have to struggle to survive at Diamond T, producing miniscule yields and wines of great intensity.
After years of working with fruit from Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, in 1994 the Talbotts achieved another important milestone when they were able to acquire the property-making Talbott an all-estate winery. Featuring blocks of old Wente clone vines planted in 1972, Sleepy Hollow has earned a reputation for producing wines of great depth and voluptuousness. Today, Sleepy Hollow’s River Road block is home to the winery’s state-of-the-art winemaking facility, where Robb Talbott and renowned winemaker Dan Karlsen guide Talbott’s storied Chardonnay and Pinot Noir programs. These estate wines have gained a reputation for their lushness, grace and great aging potential, and have become benchmarks of quality on the Central Coast..