Champagne Tuesdays: A Taittinger Tour de Force

 

Tuesday nights are not normally the best for experiencing Sydney at her hedonistic best, but when I was invited to a very special event showcasing the Champagne Taittinger portfolio at the ECQ Bar overlooking a sparkling Sydney Harbour I threw caution to the wind and put on my very finest drinking boots.

Present on the evening was none other than Taittinger family scion, Clovis Taittinger. I had been told he was going to be in attendance that evening but didn’t know what to expect from the man. I thought perhaps he would be an older gentleman and was slightly intimidated by the idea of meeting someone from such a world renowned family.

After my arrival I was introduced to someone very near my own age, dapper, bespectacled with long, tousled blonde hair and very down to earth. He’s a man who certainly appreciates a fine glass of Champagne or two as I discovered during the evening.

Clovis Taittinger

Clovis Taittinger

We started with Taittinger’s most popular cuvee the Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve (RRP $79) a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier which has been cellar aged for a minimum of 3 years before release creating a balanced, aromatic Champagne and a perfect foil for oysters.

Champagne Taittinger Brut

Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve

The Champagne Taittinger Millesime 2005 (RRP $145) was next. This Champagne is only produced in exceptional years and is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The age and exceptional quality of the fruit gave it an edge in the complexity stakes for me. A stunning cuvee.

Champagne Taittinger Brut Millesime 2005

Champagne Taittinger Brut Millesime 2005

Two of the biggest surprises of the night were the Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rose (RRP $140), and the Champagne Taittinger Nocturne (RRP $100), the latter designed for the bar and nightclub market, complete with a jacket designed to resemble a purple disco ball. I must confess I was initially put off by the presentation of the bottle. I love my Champagne but there’s no way I’d order something so blingy. Call me old fashioned.

Champagne Taittinger Nocturne

Champagne Taittinger Nocturne

The Champagne had more residual sugar than the other cuvees but was still on the right side of off-dry and was in the words of one of my companions on the evening, “Very sessionable.” It’s a Champagne I’d definitely drink again.

The grand finale was Champagne Taittinger’s flagship cuvee, the Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc 2004 (RRP $350) 100% Chardonnay with a youthful exuberance belying its nearly 10 years of age. If it weren’t for the unreliability of cork, this is a Champagne that I’d happily lay down for a few more years as I think it will only get even better.

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc 2004

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc 2004

If I had to sum up the wines I tried on the night in one word it would be ‘elegance’. There is a depth and breadth in the Champagnes I tried to ensure a good match with almost any food, although they’re pretty damn good on their own too.

Jeremy Bowell attending the event as a guest of Champagne Taittinger

Find out more about Champagne Taittinger in Australia by following them on Facebook and Twitter

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Author:Jeremy Bowell

Jeremy Bowell is the founder and editor of Taste Explorer. He also writes for InsideCuisine.com, TheGrapeHunter.com, SoBadSoGood.com and has featured in the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Living section. He is an avid connoisseur of all things food and drink related.