At Bijou we love working with like-minded people. When we meet other family businesses, like the Taittinger family, we can occasionally get a little bit over-excited.
Back in 2012 we had the honour and the pleasure to meet Clovis Taittinger over lunch at le Chateau de la Marquetterie, in Champagne, and to find out a little more about the story behind this wonderful Champagne. We are now proud to serve Taittinger at all of our venues.
About the family
The Taittinger family, originally wine merchants in the Paris region in the years after the Franco-Prussian war, purchased the Chateau de la Marquetterie in 1932 after the First World War, during which an officer in the French Army, Pierre Taittinger, was hospitalised in the building. He loved the place so much that he swore to return and purchase it, and its surrounding vineyards, once the war was over.
The vineyards surrounding the Chateau, which are a mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, were originally cultivated by Benedictine Monks (not the same as the Augustine Monks who lived at Notley Abbey!) during the 18th Century. Since the 1930s the Champagne has borne the Taittinger family name and, with a brief exception in 2005-2006, members of the Taittinger family have remained at the helm since that time. Currently Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, his son Clovis, and his daughter Vitalie, are closely involved in the running of the business.
About the champagne
As founding Chevaliers de l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne no one takes Champagne more seriously, though the Taittinger family will assure you that they make Champagne to be enjoyed and their range of Champagnes is tailored for exactly that; enjoyment.
The Taittinger family have long been known as the masters of the Chardonnay grape, one of the three main varieties determined by the appellation as allowed to be used in Champagne bearing the official name of the region. It’s reputation as the most elegant of the Champagne grapes is well earned and Taittinger ensure that finesse is evident across their entire range.
Taittinger Comte de Champagne Blanc de Blanc (current vintage, 2005)
Made exclusively from 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay grapes (from the most highly rated ‘Grand Cru’ vineyards only) Taittinger’s Comte de Champagne Blanc de Blanc is the pinnacle of vintage Chardonnay Champagnes, known the world over as the finest expression of a pure Chardonnay Champagne (Blanc de Blanc) and the standard to which other Champagne houses aspire. Only made in vintage years and aged for up to 10 years before release, this is a rare gem that delivers refined bubbles and flavours of fresh blossom with a hint of raspberry to the palate, with notes of biscuit and brioche during a long, lingering finish. Truly special, truly memorable. What better was to toast your wedding?
Taittinger Brut Vintage ‘Millesime’ (Currently Vintage)
If Chardonnay is the queen of Champagne Grapes, Pinot Noir is undoubtedly the king. Delivering a bolder, fruitier flavour, structure and character the marriage of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir creates a memorable combination. Made only using the finest grapes from the best vineyards and only in vintage years, Taittinger Millesime is yet another example of their mastery of refined, elegant and delicious Champagne production.
Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus
Blending Chardonnay and Pinot Noir again, Taittinger create something special; elegant, mineral, and dry with a complex structure and flavours of citrus and white peach on a rich finish. Aged for at least four years this is the most lively and refreshing of the Taittinger family of Champagnes and designed to be the perfect accompaniment to smoked fish or shellfish canapés, or enjoyed on its own in the sunshine of a summer’s late afternoon.
Taittinger Grand Brut
The Champagne upon which the Taittinger reputation rests is no less a delight than its longer-aged relatives. Blended by the Chef de Cave (Head of the Cellar) each year to maintain the inimitable Taittinger style using around 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, Taittinger Grand Brut is consistently light, elegant, refreshing, and dry yet balanced, and hints at citrus and brioche. This ideal aperitif stands alone as the most elegant of non-vintage offerings and also partners perfectly with light delicate and elegant food; canapés, light fish, salads and chicken.
This easiest drinking of the Taittinger family of Champagnes is no less lovingly crafted than its relatives but done so with the later part of the wedding day or evening in mind, Taittinger have lovingly rounded the flavours to create a deliciously soft, balanced and off-dry Champagne experience with mellow, ripe floral flavours with a dominant hint of peach. Another blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, Taittinger again demonstrate mastery of their craft with a nod to the versatility of their skill too.