Last week, I was invited for a tour of one of the most recognizable champagne houses in the world – Champagne Taittinger. Located in Reims, this iconic house was founded in 1737 and has a rich history in the Champagne region. Myths and legends come together in the story that is Champagne Taittinger – tales of unrequited love, poetry, passion and determination are sown together in a rich tapestry. Their exquisite crayers (underground chalk cellars) are located 20 meters underground and kept at a constant temperature of 8˚C. They date back to the 4th Century and every turn leads to a different historical treasure.
Champagne Taittinger is one of very few ‘Grandes Marques & Maisons de Champagne‘ houses that own a large proportion of vineyard land. Their estate holdings total 289 hectares of vineyards which supply just over half of the grapes required for their 6.5 million bottle per year production.
Known as a Chardonnay house, Champagne Taittinger uses a large percentage of Chardonnay in all of their wines. Over 80% of the wine used for their entry-level NV Brut Réserve come from Grand Cru villages which is exceptionally rare. About 70% of their champagnes are exported (UK, US, Japan) and the remaining 30% of sales stay within France.
Champagne Taittinger tasting:
Champagne Taittinger Réserve Brut NV – as stated earlier, 80% of the wines used to craft this wine come from Grand Cru villages. Comprised of 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, this champagne already has seen 3 years of aging before its’ release. With a good amount of reserve wine (30%), the Brut Réserve is nicely balanced with flavours of pear and gentle baking spice.
Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus Brut NV – created to celebrate the millennium, this is a 50/50 blend of only Grand Cru Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – a finessed champagne with good minerality. Full and flavourful – hints of baked apple and cinnamon, lemon rind and a touch of brioche, this is a crowd-pleasing champagne.
Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rosé Brut NV – if you are looking for a fantastic pairing for your turkey dinner or crab extravaganza – search no further. Made with the same percentages of the Brut NV, this refreshing rosé contains 13% of still Pinot Noir from the Grand Cru village of Bouzy. Gently nuanced with flavours of cranberry, fresh raspberry and a dusting of white jasmine.
Champagne Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV – here is a champagne that has a higher proportion of residual sugar (17 g/l). Inspired by nightlife and aimed at the club scene, this champagne is round and full and fruity. Nocturne is made up of the same blend as the Brut NV and serves as sparkling choice to order when you are dancing the night away.
Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Grands Crus Blanc de Blancs 2007 – this tête de cuvée from Taittinger is, quite simply, magnificent. Only crafted in top quality years, Comtes de Champagne is a Chardonnay lovers dream come true. With 10 years of aging, this stunning wine is alive, elegant and finessed. Full of yeasty brioche notes, a dusting of crushed walnut and top notes of toasted caramel, Comtes de Champagne is pure and clean with bright acidity. This is one exceptional prestige cuvée.