Highlights: Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV France

Taittinger have 288 hectares of their own vineyards in Champagne, and supplement this with fruit they buy. They’re very well known for being Chardonnay specialists, but this Prélude cuvée is a bit of a sleeper in their range: it’s a 50/50 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend from Grand Cru vineyards (Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, primarily from Avize and Le Mesnil sur Oger; Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims area including Mailly and  Ambonnay), and spends at least five years on lees, and it isn’t crazy expensive.

Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV France
12.5% alcohol. 9 g/l dosage. The latest release, but I don’t have information on base vintage, or bottling or disgorgement date. This is complex, rounded and delicious with ripe pear and white peach fruit, as well as some lemony brightness and also hints of fresh baked bread and hazelnut. There’s complexity and harmony here, and a generous dosage brings everything together quite nicely, adding a touch of sweetness on the finish. Sophistication and balance the key. 93/100 (quite widely available, price is in the range £42-£50)

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