Taittinger is one of just five Champagne houses to cellar its wines in the famous ‘Crayeres’ of Reims – chalk caves originally dug by the Romans. The house owns four kilometres of Crayeres, nowadays used to age their prestige cuvees. Taittinger’s history can be traced back to 1734, when it was originally known as Forest-Fourneaux, founded by Jacques Fourneaux who worked closely with local Benedictine monks to learn how to produce wine. As such, the house is the third oldest Champagne producer in history.
The estate was bought by the Taittingers – a family of wine merchants – in 1932, and thanks to the great depression and subsequent low land prices, the family also picked up huge swathes of vineyard. From 1945-1960, Francois Taittinger established the cellars in the Abbey of Saint-Nicaise, and after his death in 1960 his brother Claude took over, pushing the estate into a Champagne house of world renown. Such was the status of the label that the Taittinger family soon expanded its business into other luxury goods. However, this eventually led to financial difficulties, and in 2005 the Taittinger brand – including the Champagne house – was sold to the American owned Starwood Hotel Group. The sale was badly received by the Champagne industry, with many fearing the new owners – unfamiliar with the culture of Champagne – would put profit ahead of quality.
Just one year later, Claude’s nephew, Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, who had always been opposed to the sale, negotiated a €660m deal with the Starwood Group, and the Taittinger family resumed ownership of the company. Taittinger is therefore one of the few remaining independently owned Champagne Houses.
Grape / Blend
40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier
91 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The NV Brut La Française is based on 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, all fermented in stainless steel and blended with 30% of reserve wines. It is a pure, fresh and well-structured Brut that seems more elegant, complex and round than the Brut Réserve. The persistent finish is clear, fresh and well structured, with refreshing lemon flavors and a nice grip. My sample was said to be bottled in 2014 and disgorged in March 2017 with nine grams of dosage. There is good length and tension here as well as sweet cherry aromas in the aftertaste.
90 Points -Wine Spectator
Smoke and toast accents lace crushed raspberry, candied lemon zest and apple blossom notes in this firm, aperitif-style Champagne.
Product size: 375ml
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