Taittinger Brut La Francaise NV, Reims, France
Taittinger Brut La Française is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier wines from at least 35 villages. The high proportion of Chardonnay (40%) is unique among fine nonvintage Champagnes. The presses are located in the vineyard for immediate pressing of the fruit after the manual harvest, and the resulting must is cold fermented under temperature-controlled conditions. After resting until the end of winter, the wine is blended, and then the final cuvée undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle in Taittinger’s cool cellars. The aging of Brut La Française on the lees for almost 4 years more than doubles the legal minimum of 15 months. This extra time in the cellars allows the wine to reach the peak of aromatic maturity, and the result is a delicately balanced Champagne, known for its consistently excellent quality. This wine has a subtle, pale gold color with fine, persistent bubbles. It is delicate, with aromas of peach, white flowers, vanilla pod, and brioche on the nose and flavors of fresh fruit and honey on the palate. 91 Points Wine Spectator.