Taittinger NV Brut Réserve

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Tasting notes
Light, brisk bubbles introduce you to the youthful peach, vanilla, apple and honey tones. Straw-coloured, pale, vivacious. Delights in complementing creamy pasta, light pork, game and fish dishes and earthy vegetables; loves mild cheeses.

Why we recommend this wine
We love aged champagne; age gets rid of the searing acidity that creates that burning sensation inside. Taittinger ages their wines before release so that in itself meets our needs, and with all three varietals - red and white - it has great complexity.

The wine
Great skill is needed to orchestrate the three champagne grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Chardonnay provides the crispness whilst the two red grapes provide the fruit. Taittinger Brut’s assemblage of Chardonnay (40%), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (60%) and their long aging produce consistent, instantly recognisable Brut sparkling wine.
After the final cuvee undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle Taittinger ages their champagne for almost 4 years, which is double the legal minimum. The result is a Champagne that’s allowed to reach the peak of aromatic maturity, hence its ability to deliver a powerful sense of ‘tasting the wine when you close your eyes and breathe it in’. This Brut non vintage Champagne has a consistency that rewards your faith in its label, and always delights in terms of being light, natural and very, very easy to drink.

The winery
As a ‘grand marque’, Taittinger has been family-owned for almost 80 years. That makes it something of a scarcity today.
But while Taittinger may own 750 acres of vineyard itself, and use a higher proportion of Chardonnay grapes than most to secure delicacy and elegance in its wines, it still invites the ‘best of the best’ grape growers to blend their fruits with the estate’s own grapes.

Food and wine
There’s very little fragility to Taittinger, the Chardonnay grapes do offer a robust base – but to really pick out those fruit essences you’ll need to pair it with some middle of the road flavour combinations. Butternut squashes and creamy pasta dishes; pear and rocket salads, perhaps; lighter meats such as pork or even freshwater fish – think pike, perch and bream. However, you could also dabble in earthy root vegetables and mushrooms, even a mild blue cheese or something with peppers, ginger and garlic, with some degree of confidence about your success. Also see our guide to pairing food and wine here.

Did you know?
Almost 90% of all the grapes used to make Champagne are grown by smallholders (almost 20,000 of them), whose average vineyards are just 5 acres each. halfwine.com offers several Grower Champagnes.