Taittinger remains one of the few Champagne Houses to be owned and actively managed by the family named on the label. Its origins date back to 1734 when the original house was founded by Jacques Fourneaux. The Taittinger link was established in 1931 when Pierre Taittinger, the founder of today’s company acquired the House. Pierre spent time in the Champagne region when serving in the 1st world war as a young cavalry officer. Stationed at the Château de la Marquetterie, he fell in love with this remarkable property and its vineyards and eventually purchased the company. Today, the Reims based House is headed up by Pierre’s grandson, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger and his son, Clovis and daughter Vitalie both of whom are actively involved in the day to day running of this thriving family Champagne House.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne [En Primeur – Due 2024] 2013
In 1952, the Taittinger Champagne House created the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs – its most exclusive and premium cuvée – in honour of the Comtes de Champagne and in particular Thibaud IV, whose seal proudly adorns every bottle of Taittinger. It is made only with Chardonnay grapes from the Grands Crus of the Côte des Blancs region, including the villages of Avize, Cramant, Chouilly, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger, which all have a renowned soil quality for this particular variety in the region. Chardonnay: this is the Taittinger hallmark. It gives their wines elegance, delicacy and finesse. From 40% in the Brut Réserve NV to 100% in the renowned Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. 288ha of vineyards: this makes them the third largest grower in the region.
It was another odd year for the region in terms of weather. After a cold, wet winter, and a particularly chilly, rainy, overcast spring, the vines began their growth cycle two weeks later than the ten-year average, and never caught up again. The hot, dry summer added greatly to the quality of the grapes, especially July and August, which were the sunniest ever recorded in Champagne. A rainy spell arrived on 6 September, causing the grapes to swell, but fortunately stopped in time for the bunches to fully ripen. For such a late vintage, the weather was remarkable, almost summery, with high temperatures, lots of sunshine and a breeze that helped to keep the grapes healthy. Due to substantial differences between different areas, picking began in some plots on 24 September while others were not ready until 9 October; but the majority of the grapes were harvested in the early days of October, something which has not been seen in Champagne for two decades.
‘The 2013 Comtes de Champagne captures all the pedigree of this great vintage in its energy, depth and vibrancy. Lemon confit, dried flowers, chamomile, spice and crushed rocks all race across the palate. Passionfruit, ginger, marzipan and mint appear later, filling out the layers beautifully. Harvest took place in October in what has become the exception rather than the norm in Champagne.’
98 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous, May 2023
‘Nervy and tight with notes of crushed almonds, chalk, white grapefruit, digestive biscuits, lemons and apricot stones. Hints of fennel and white pepper. Deep and mineral, with plenty of power. Very fine bubbles. Long drive at the end. Try after 2024.’
98 points, James Suckling, August 2023