Food & Drink

July 1, 2016

Champagne Taittinger

Champagne Taittinger is one of the few remaining family owned and operated Champagne houses. The firm is distinguished for its extensive vineyard holdings of 752 acres, including prestigious Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims regions. Unlike most large houses, Champagne Taittinger relies primarily on estate grapes for its portfolio of Champagnes. Also unique are the higher proportion of Chardonnay in its wines that gives Taittinger its signature style, and the time devoted to aging the wines before release—most often greatly exceeding the legal requirement, in a practice that also has become a Taittinger hallmark.

Pierre Taittinger’s philosophy proved him to be a visionary well ahead of his time. An accomplished and respected gastronome, he was among those who, during the interwar years, foresaw changing public preferences in cuisine away from the complex and often heavy traditional preparations that had long dominated the classic culinary arts. The evolution he set in motion centered on two concepts: lightness and naturalness. Pierre’s son, François Taittinger, set the standard for lightness and delicacy that was to become the hallmark of the Taittinger style. He was responsible for building and shaping the vineyard, allowing Taittinger to be self-supplying and to distinguish itself with the Chardonnay grape. Indeed, Taittinger has 37% Chardonnay planted in its vineyards, compared to an average in Champagne of only 27%. With his legendary master blender, Roger Lénique, François Taittinger set most exacting criteria for the quality of Taittinger’s wines. He used only fine, old Champagnes in the dosage rather than brandies or fortified wines. He restricted production exclusively to fully dry, brut Champagnes requiring flawless wines of the highest quality obtained solely from the juice from the delicate first pressing of the fruit. He ultimately attained the epitome of delicacy and elegance he desired in his cuvées through the proportionately higher use of Chardonnay, the most costly of the champenois grapes.

Champagne Taittinger

Champagne Taittinger

Champagne Taittinger Nocturne “City Lights” - A blend of more than 35 different crus from a variety of harvests, this wine spends four years on the lees before being disgorged. A distinctively sweet “sec” Champagne. On the nose there are aromas of white flowers, yellow peach and dried apricots. The palate is smooth and creamy yet very crisp and gives way to flavors of raisins and fruit. SRP $60

Champagne Taittinger Prélude - is produced exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards, with half the blend composed of Chardonnay primarily from Avize and Le Mesnil sur Oger in the Côte des Blancs, and half of Pinot Noir mainly from Mailly, Bouzy and Ambonnay in the Montagne de Reims. This Champagne is subtle and fresh on the nose, with mineral aromas that quickly give way to notes of elderflowers and spicy cinnamon. In the mouth, lean mineral Chardonnay notes delicately balance the aromatic strength of Pinot Noir. The lively palate is dominated by fresh citrus and white peaches. SRP $50

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