Taittinger is the name of a French wine family who found world fame for their production of exquisite and refined Champagnes.
The estate is currently under the command of Claude Taittinger, born 1927, who is a member of the consultative committee of Banque de France.
Other holdings have included Taittinger Champagne, the Societe du Louvre and Concorde Hotels; owner of the famous Hotel de Crillon located on Place de la Concorde.
Also owned was the Bouvet-Ladubay wine producing firm of the Loire Valley, along with a partnership in Domaine Carneros until sold in 2005.
Taittinger is the third oldest currently operating Champagne house, with roots dating back as far as the year 1734. The original business under the ownership of Jacques Forneaux The business thrived for decades and was eventually to be purchased by Pierre Taittinger in the year of 1932.
Taittinger not only purchased the house, but huge swathes of vineyards in response to low prices caused by the depression the country was facing. The business continued to go from strength to strength, expanding all the time and eventually being relocated to Reims.
The latest of the Taittinger family to take control of the business are Claude, and the recent addition of his nephew Pierre-Emmanuel.
Production at Taittinger is aimed toward a Champagne of creamy richness.
The range of wines produced to a 100% traditionally faithful process include several non-vintage cuvees, such as the Brut Reserve with 38% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier, along with the Brut Cuvee Prestige Rose, comprised of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier.
Curiously, although made entirely from black grapes, the rose uses red wine for color, rather than the skins of the grapes as tradition would dictate.
Two newer cuvees include the Taittinger Prelude, which is a non-vintage blend using 50% Chardonnay from Cotes des Blancs and 50% Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims. The Brut Millesime is an exceptionally good wine, comprised of 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir, though often goes somewhat overlooked by consumers in favor of alternatives such as Pol Roger.
In the ranks of the Prestige cuvee there is the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, which is made from 100% Chardonnay aged in oak, along with a Comtes de Champagne Rose, featuring 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, colored again by the addition of red wine.
One of the very best examples of Taittinger is the Brut 2003, offering sulphur and stones to the nose with a wonderful texture and quality on the palate; fleshy and substantial, backed with a bright composition. There is also a noticeably impressive balance of acidity, known to be rare in this vintage, with a crisp mousse and a firm finish.
The Tattigner Brut Reserve non-vintage is described as slightly honeyed with dry fruit notes. This particular Champagne is known to improve with some time in the bottle and serves as a very typical example of the Taittinger style.
The original Taittinger cellar contains approximately 3 million bottles of Champagne resting at any one time…with a further 19 million in their other, more modern cellar within the complex!