95 points Tyson Stelzer (The Champagne Guide): "(50% chardonnay from Avize, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger and a little Chouilly; 50% pinot noir, half from Mailly-Champagne and half from Ambonnay, Verzenay and Verzy; 100% single vintage, though not communicated; aged 3.5 years on lees; 9g/L dosage; cork). Taittinger selects its grand cru parcels for Prélude to show the characters of their crus, rather than the mood of the vintage, looking for elegance, finesse, delicacy and structure, reserving those with more power for its Comtes de Champagne Rosé. ‘This is purposely a cuvée of finesse and subtlety,’ says Damien Le Sueur. It is always entirely from a single year, though disappointingly its vintage is never declared, ‘as we don’t aim to show the vintage effect’. Le Sueur describes the vision as the opposite to Bollinger (who contrast warm south-facing pinot with cool, north-facing chardonnay). ‘We are looking for a fresh, easy-drinking style, so we source from the cooler pinot crus of Ambonnay, Verzenay, Verzy and, most of all, Mailly-Champagne, the signature of the structure of the wine,’ he says. Taittinger is privileged to large holdings in Mailly-Champagne. ‘We are big fans of this cooler village, and we love its structure and freshness – a pinot of chardonnay freshness yet pinot structure.’ True to its aspirations, 2014 Prélude is a cuvée of tension, focus and energy, with lifted struck-flint and grilled-toast reduction over a core of lemon, crunchy red apple and grapefruit freshness. The pure chalk of its grand cru sites defines a style of frothing salt minerality of prominent, lingering texture. Age has built subtle Parisian pâtisserie character, evoking freshly baked baguettes and brioche. It delivers presence and character on the front, and carries a long and focused finish of mineral tension and character. Classy, terroir-infused, and precise. (2020-2021)"
94 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): "I have been a big fan of Taittinger’s 'Prélude' Grand Cru bottling since its inception, and have quite a few bottles happily aging in my cellar. As this is a cuvée that is built for a long and graceful life in the cellar, I do wish the team at Taittinger would start marking at least the date of disgorgement on the back label, as I try to give my bottles at least five years of bottle age before I start drinking them, and if I do not remember to mark when I bought them before they go down in the cellar, they become a bit of a mystery as to their relative age. In any case, the bottling is a fifty-fifty blend of chardonnay and pinot noir, all sourced from grand cru villages on the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs. The wine is aged sur latte at least five years prior to disgorgement, so I suspect the current release is from the base year of 2014. It is an exceptional young wine, offering up a precise and complex nose of apple, white peach, clementine, fresh-baked bread, a beautiful base of chalky minerality, gentle smokiness and a delicately floral topnote. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and nicely structured, with an excellent girdle of acidity, a rock solid core, excellent mineral drive, refined mousse and a long, nascently complex and beautifully balanced finish. This is approachable now, but five years down the road is when the fireworks are really going to start! 2021-2060. (Nov/Dec 2020)"
|Varietal||Champagne / Sparkling Blend|