The Taittinger family has managed the Champagne House for nearly a century. Its aim has always been the pursuit of excellence. “Having our family name on a bottle places demands and responsibilities on every minute. The name on the bottle conveys both the skills and knowledge of the past and a commitment to the future”. Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger has embodied this commitment for 40 years, which he shares with his son, Clovis and his daughter, Vitalie who both work beside him in the day to day running of the Champagne House. Together, they create a very close-knit and complementary family trio.
Since taking up the reins of Export Management in 2007, Clovis Taittinger has focused on developing international sales, driven by a genuine love for the family’s Champagne House. An exceptional ambassador, both creative and inquisitive, he constantly searches out new, prestigious partnerships around the world. It is thanks to his ambition and passion that, from 2014 onwards, Taittinger became the official champagne for the greatest sporting competition in the World; the FIFA World Cup.
The Pursuit of Excellence
The philosophy behind the composition of Taittinger champagnes is to keep only the best, to remain true to oneself, and to find that unique taste which provides pleasure for just a moment, or for a whole lifetime. The search for this exacting quality and style is meticulous.
The creation of champagnes at Taittinger is always a family affair. It begins with the Taittinger family; the guardians of the house style. This family spirit also permeates the tasting panel team, whose choices will determine how the blends are created. The final decision is always made collectively. It is the result of a shared developed instinct.
With 288 hectares of vineyards to watch over through the changing seasons, the men and women who work at Taittinger have learnt to listen to the vines and care for them meticulously. Taittinger is the third largest vineyard owner in the Champagne region and everyone in the team is proud of being a winegrower and a real artisan, working towards producing Champagne House’s unique style. This style is the result of a quest for quality and the beautiful synergy of its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.
The Taittinger estate covers 288 hectares located between the ‘Côte des Blancs’, the ‘Vallée de la Marne’ and the ‘Montagne de Reims’. The estate is made up of 37% Chardonnay, 48% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier vines, distributed equally across 37 different vineyards which are amongst the best in the Champagne appellation. Great care is taken over this green treasure, which is grown in a traditional way, according to the requirements for sustainable development. From pruning to the harvest, to reduced distances between the picking areas and the presses, everything is done with the same goal in mind; to obtain the best raw material in order to create the best champagne. In this way, excellence is not a myth, but rather a reality.
Blending the Wines
The experience and passion of the winegrowers now gives way to the skills and talent of the Cellar Master in selecting, and then delicately combining, the potential of each vintage being used in the blends. Chardonnay is always the main component used in the blends and creates that original, defining characteristic of the Taittinger Champagne House. It is this unique style, which has been present since the outset; the style that the tasting panel always scrupulously seeks to maintain.
The Wines We Will Feature at the International Festival Tasting Room
Taittinger Brut Réserve – is made from 40 % Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, using perfectly matured grapes harvested from over 35 different vineyards. This high proportion of Chardonnay, unique among fine nonvintage champagnes, and a minimum ageing of three years in the cellars, where it reaches the peak of aromatic maturity, makes Taittinger Brut Réserve, a delicately balanced Champagne, is known for its consistently excellent quality all over the world. Taittinger considers it an honour to produce a Brut champagne every year without exception. The brilliant body is golden yellow in colour. The bubbles are fine, while the foam is discreet yet lingering. The nose, very open and expressive, delivers aromas of fruit and brioche. It also gives off the fragrance of peach, white flowers (hawthorn, acacia) and vanilla pod. The entry onto the palate is lively, fresh and in total harmony. This is a delicate wine with flavours of fresh fruit and honey. Taittinger Brut Réserve, which acquires its maturity during three and four years of ageing in the cellar, offers excellent aromatic potential.
Prestige Rosé – This champagne is remarkably vibrant and sophisticated. Its taste reveals a subtle balance between the freshness and structure of the ever-present red fruit, making it full-bodied and smooth. Its strong character is also shown in its delightfully unique, intense, shimmering colour. A superbly blended rosé. A quantity of still red wine (15%) produced from the best Pinot Noirs from Montagne de Reims and Les Riceys is in fact added to the final blend, to give this cuvée its unmistakable colour and vibrant intensity on the palate. The high proportion of Chardonnay (30%) that completes the blend brings the elegance and delicacy that underpin Taittinger’s signature style. The intense and brilliant body is bright pink in colour. The bubbles are fine, and the mousse persistent. The full nose, wonderfully expressive, is both fresh and young. It gives off aromas of red fruits (freshly crushed wild raspberry, cherry, blackcurrant). On the palate, this wine strikes a fine
balance of a velvet texture and full body taste. The flavours are reminiscent of fresh, crisp red fruits. The palate can be summed up in four words: lively, fruity, fresh and elegant, as only a rosé blend can be.
Prélude Grand Crus – The balance between freshness and aromatic strength is what makes this champagne such a harmonious blend. The Cuvee comes together through the careful selection of the best Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Grands Crus, taken from just the first pressing, and a maturation period of 5 years in the cellars. It is composed of Chardonnay (50%) and Pinot Noir (50%) that Taittinger has selected exclusively from the top Grands Crus vineyards classified as “100%” in the Champagne system. Produced only using first press wines, this rare blend offers the finesse and structure that a great wine needs if it to be laid down for any length of time. On the palate, this wine strikes the perfect balance of the instantly minerally Chardonnay and the strongly expressive Pinot Noir. Aged for more than five years in the cellar, the Prélude cuvée is unique for its remarkable youth and great wealth of flavours. The brilliant body is pale yellow with silver highlights, a sign of the high proportion of exceptional Chardonnays. The bubbles are fine and form a persistent and delicately creamy ring of foam. The wine is subtle and fresh on the nose. The initial mineral aromas quickly give way to green and then floral notes with the fragrance of elderflowers and spicy cinnamon undertones. The entry onto the palate is clean and lively, dominated by very exceedingly fresh citrus notes. These segue into much fuller, rounder and silkier flavours where white peaches in syrup predominate. The finish is rich, lingering and bursting with flavour. Prélude «Grands Crus» is a joyous blend of finesse and complexity. its balance of freshness and aromatic expression is outstanding.
Nocturne Sec – Taittinger Nocturne is a sweeter champagne, made from 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir and Meunier from 35 vineyards. It is the result of several harvests undertaken when the fruit had reached perfect maturity. The uniqueness of its mix and its long maturation period in the cellars gives it its fullness and smoothness. It works well as an accompaniment to dessert, or simply as a digestif on its own after a meal. The body is pale yellow in colour with shimmering highlights. The bubbles form a delicate ring of fine foam. The subtle and delicate bouquet reveals the delightful aromas of yellow peaches and dried apricots. The entry is smooth and creamy, yet very crisp. The palate gives way to flavours of raisins and fruits in syrup. The long and smooth finish is distinctively sweet and full of flavour. A mature, rich and round wine, Nocturne is also exceptionally smooth and creamy.
Comtes Blanc de Blancs 2007 TRADE only – This is a special wine during the Trade tasting at the Festival. In 1952, the Taittinger Champagne House created the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs – its most exclusive and premium cuvée – in honour of the Comtes de Champagne and in particular Thibaud IV, whose seal proudly adorns every bottle of Taittinger.
It is made only with Chardonnay grapes from the Grands Crus of the Côte des Blancs region, including the villages of Avize, Cramant, Chouilly, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger, which all have a renowned soil quality for this particular variety in the region.
This cuvée is created using juice from the first-press only. A small percentage (5 %) of the blend is aged in fresh oak barrels to create the very delicate balance of toasted notes in the final wine.
The 2007 viticultural year was an exceptional year in terms of both the vines and the final wine. This great 2007 vintage lives up to all expectations as soon as you open the bottle. It is a moment to treasure. That typical Chardonnay colour is there in all its sparkling, golden glory with shimmers of green coating the constant stream of fine, delicate bubbles. It has a fine and delicate nose that combines white blossom and a certain minerality with general overtones of Anjou light pear and golden raisins. Subtle hints of aniseed and smoky flavours follow this suggestion of fruit. The taste
is vibrant, with a combination of lemon and saltiness. This is immediately followed by a sensation of complex, yet mellow freshness creating the perfect balance between ripeness and a full-rounded flavour. It is rounded off by a long-lasting, crisp finish with hints of salted butter. This elegant wine lives up to its reputation with its freshness, strength, minerality and mellow fruitiness. Its freshness encapsulates a certain moment in time and promises interesting cellaring potential.