Updated: Apr 23
On 17th april, we were honoured to be joined for an online tasting by Clovis Taittinger, fourth generation family member of the eponymous champagne house. Now Managing Director of the maison which is the largest independent family owned domain in the region, Clovis guided us through the Brut Reserve and the 2007 Comtes de Champagnes as well as initiating us to his philosophies of French ‘savoir-vivre’.
Clovis divulged three theories invoking thought around the ‘virtual’ tasting table:
1. Champagne will make it through the Coronavirus.
Clovis states the beginning of House Taittinger during tumultuous times in the Champagne region and how resilience will play the role as they overcome this pandemic.
The region of Champagne has been a known battleground since the fourth century and the champenois have built their industry in the face of adversity. The Taittinger family were based in Lorraine in the 1870’s. The Franco-Prussian War led them to flee towards Paris, where Pierre Taittinger, started working at age fourteen as a wine merchant, selling Loire Valley wine and champagne door-to-door. This was the beginning of the family legacy in wine.
World War I struck and Pierre was enlisted as an officer in the cavalry. Pierre was injured and nursed back to health at the Château de la Marquetterie which was then owned by the now defunct house of Forest-Fourneaux.
At the time, not only were the vines completely destroyed by both phylloxera and bombardments in the region but the death toll also meant that there weren’t enough people to tend to the vines. Wine was no longer a priority and a large part of the land was transitioned to harvest corn or wheat.
After the war, he became a politician in Paris; and fondly remembering Château de la Marquetterie as his place of refuge, in 1931 he returned to Pierry and purchased the château and the surrounding vineyards. This is the beginning of the Taittinger house as we know it.
During the Second World War the château and domain were requisitioned by the army and occupied by soldiers, once again, the vines were abandoned. The champagne houses of the region were pillaged and forced to supply soldiers and the Nazi’s Weinfuhrers with their best cuvées. Clovis’ grandfather was even arrested for poisoning a batch of bottles destined to the Nazis.
But despite this, the family and the winemakers managed to bounce back stronger than ever. Clovis has no shadow of a doubt that Coronavirus will be challenge, however nothing compared to what his family and the region have conquered in the past.
2. Pair your champagnes with good company first.
Perhaps you have traveled the word and dined at the most acclaimed Michelin Star restaurants, sampling dishes paired with equally prestigious champagnes BUT if you have indulged in those dishes with the wrong company, arguably you are missing out on the key ingredient: people!
One cannot enjoy their wine to the fullest in bad company. Therefor sometimes, the best pairing is with "a simple sandwich or fish and chips". Drinking champagne is first and foremost a social activity. Save those special bottles for special people. Make that moment memorable saluting the friends and family you can share it with.
3. Champagne lovers, prepare for the launch of the 2008 Comtes de Champagne.
The highly anticipated vintage release is imminent.
The strenuous task of disgorgement is now complete and the first bottles of vintage 2008 now lay resting for an impending release. Both the blanc de blancs and rosé cuvées, are looking absolutely sensational and will be released later this year. We just need the wines to recover from the traumatic process which is disgorgement and integrate the low dosage, allowing us to officially launch it later this year!
Enthusiasts and champagne lovers looking to secure an allocation of 2008 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs or Rosé can contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org