Taittinger FamilyClaire Dawson, Vintners Cup Winner 2006, explains the story behind Taittinger:

One of the great names in Champagne has origins dating back to 1734, when the original House was founded. It was acquired in 1931 by Pierre Taittinger, who had fallen in love with the property and its vineyards while stationed locally during the 1st World War. The Reims-based House is owned and actively managed by the Taittingers to this day.

Many Houses buy all their fruit from growers, but half of Taittinger’s grapes come from its own vineyards, which extend to 288 hectares and include holdings in ten Grands Crus. Chardonnay accounts for 40% of TaittingerTaittinger’s plantings, compared to 27% for the whole appellation. The remainder is planted to Pinot Noir and to a much lesser extent Pinot Meunier.

A high percentage of Chardonnay in the blend creates great elegance, delicacy and finesse. This is Taittinger’s hallmark, with Chardonnay ratios ranging from 40% in the Brut Reserve NV to 100% in the prestigious Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs.

Taittinger Brut Réserve NVTaittinger Brut Réserve NV
£33.00 £25.00 (Hurry! Offer ends 7th June)
Thereafter, £28.00*

A blend of 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier from up to 25 different Crus, aged for 3-4 years before release. Light, delicate, with hints of white flowers, biscuits and brioche, it has a lean palate, yet considerable depth, elegance and a long, fresh finish.

Taittinger Rosé NVTaittinger Rosé NV
£45.00 £30.00*

30% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier, with a distinctive salmon-pink colour from l’addition method, which also ensures consistency and quality. Aged for three years, it’s a subtle, delicate wine with wild strawberry, raspberry and cherry aromas, plus a hint of spice.

Taittinger Prélude Grands Crus NVTaittinger Prélude Grands Crus NV
£45.00 £30.00*

Made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir exclusively from four Grands Crus sites and aged for four years on its lees, this is a subtle, fresh, joyous wine. Initial mineral aromas quickly develop into green, floral scents with hints of elderflower and spicy cinnamon. On the palate, citrus fruits give way to a much fuller, mellower taste with syrupy white-peach flavours. The finish is long, rich and expressive.

Taittinger 2002/03Taittinger 2002/03
£50.00 £30.00*

Taittinger only produces a vintage when the harvest is of exceptional quality, and purely with juice from the first pressing (50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir). It’s aged for at least four years to provide length, suppleness and complexity. The 2003 is very characteristic of this vintage, with beautiful aromatics, complex, rich fruit flavours of plum and greengage, and great minerality.

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1998Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1998
£100.00 £80.00*

A wine of ultimate delicacy and finesse, only produced when all conditions essential to its unique style are met. This vintage could be compared to 1982 or 1988,  combining generous fruitiness with freshness and harmony. Flinty aromas and toasted brioche on the nose lead to a delightfully creamy, mellow palate with grapefruit and white peach flavours.

*All prices valid until 30th August unless otherwise stated

2 thoughts on “In Praise of the Producer: Taittinger

  1. Pierre-Charles Taittinger (October 4, 1887 – January 22, 1965) was founder of the famous Taittinger champagne house and chairman of the municipal council of Paris in 1943-1944 during the German occupation of France, in which position he played a role during the Liberation of Paris.

    In 1924, Pierre Taittinger founded the Jeunesses patriotes (Patriotic Youths), a right-wing, antisemitic, and Fascist-inspired group, recruited mostly from university students and financed by industrialists. Taittinger took inspiration for the group’s creation in the Boulangist Ligue des patriotes and Benito Mussolini’s Blackshirts. In the end of the 1920s, the Jeunesses patriotes became one of the far-right’s major movements, challenging the Action française.

    In 1937 he was elected to the municipal council of Paris and to the departmental council of the Seine. In March 1940 he was elevated to the rank of Commander in the Order of the Légion d’honneur. He became president of the municipal council of Paris in May 1943, as the Germans occupied the city, and held this position until the Liberation of Paris in August 1944. During 1943 Pierre Taittinger and his brother-in-law Louis Burnouf profit from his close working relationship with Louis Darquier, a member of the Vichy CGQJ (Commissariat General aux Questions Juives), and the “Aryanisation” of Jewish businesses and property. At one point Burnouf was on the point of controlling twenty-seven businesses given to him by the Economic Aryanisation Section.
    On August 17, 1944, concerned that explosives were being placed at strategic points around Paris by the Germans, Taittinger met with the German military governor Dietrich von Choltitz. On being told that Choltitz intended to slow up as much as possible the Allied advance, Taittinger, along with the Swedish consul general Raoul Nordling, attempted to persuade Choltitz not to destroy Paris. As the Allies rolled into the Paris Basin, Pierre Taittinger made an incredible change from collaborator to a member of the resistance. After the war, he published a book called …et Paris ne fut pas détruit (“…and Paris was not destroyed”) which was awarded a prize by the French Academy. In 1954 he became honorary deputy (a title given to ancient members of the French National Assembly).

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