TAITTINGER – The legendary vintages The comtes de champagne
In 1734, Jacques Fourneaux a seller of sparkling wines, created a company that would later be called Taittinger. He was engaged in the sale of early 18th century wines made by the Benedictine abbeys of Hautvillers, Pierry, Verzy and Saint-Nicaise in Reims, which owned the best vineyards in Champagne. Jacques Fourneaux’s company flourished throughout the 19th century. After the First World War, the company acquires the residence of the XIII century, the so-called “House of the Counts of Champagne”. It was the home of Thibault IV, the famous feudal lord of medieval France during the reigns of Louis VIII and Louis IX. Thibault IV was king of Navarre, master of the abbey of Saint-Nicaise, and last count of Champagne. He was also a famous poet and musician, for which he received the nickname Thibault the Chansonnier (song writer). His muse was Blanche of Castile, Queen of France, and wife of Louis VIII. Fleeing from an unhappy marriage, Thibault IV joined the crusades to the Holy Land. On his return, Thibault IV brought back vines from Cyprus that were to be the ancestors of the current Taittinger Chardonnay.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the companies of Fournet and Taittinger merge. Originally from Lorraine, Pierre Taittinger takes control of the production of champagne wines. In 1932, he acquires Château de la Marquetterie, an 18th-century estate known for its Chardonnay and Pinot vineyards. Pierre decides that the Chardonnay variety will dominate the Taittinger brand, bringing lightness, grace, elegance and variety of aromas.
The Taittinger Comtes de Champagne vintages are the quintessential House style. Some vintages, be they Blanc de Blancs or sometimes – in exceptional years – Rosé, become classics and join the legendary status of the top wines from the Champagne region. With this champagne, the mission has been truly accomplished, as it not only excites the palate with a range of exquisite sensations, but also touches the very depths of the soul and leaves its mark on a person…
COMTES DE CHAMPAGNE BLANC DE BLANCS
The Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the finest example of the Taittinger House style and is always a vintage cuvée. It is made with 100% white grapes from the 5 villages with a Grands Crus classification for the Chardonnay grape (Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger).
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. Taittinger knows it must be patient with these great Chardonnays, which are the crowning glory of its terroir; the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs remains for up to 10 years in the chalk quarries beneath Saint-Nicaise, before emerging to ignite and delight the palates of wine-lovers.
COMTES DE CHAMPAGNE ROSÉ
This cuvée, which is always a vintage, is only made when the year has been exceptional and all the demanding quality criteria have been met.
It is made from 30% Chardonnay Grands Crus from the prestigious Côte des Blancs region and 70% Pinot Noir from the Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims region. The Comtes de Champagne Rosé owes the secret of its uniqueness to the 15% of still red wine which is added to the blend. It is the Champagne House’s most rare cuvée. Its fruity character and smooth, caressing taste make it a delicious luxury to only be enjoyed in small sips. Another legend, Rudolph Noureev, said, “When I drink Comtes de Champagne rosé, I no longer dance, I fly…”