Top 10 biggest Champagne brands 2016

6. Taittinger

taittinger

Taittinger sells 5.5 million bottles annually

Label: Taittinger Brut Réserve Non-Vintage
Blend (approx.): 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier
Reserve wine (%): 20-24
Lees ageing (months): 35-38
Dosage (g/l): 9-9.9
MLF: Full
Price (RRP, UK): £35
Size (approx. annual sales, 2015): 5.5 million bottles
Cellar master: Loic Dupont

Taken back under full family control in 2006, Taittinger has benefitted from the charm of its chairman Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, and consistent quality of its wines, made by Loic Dupont, who has headed winemaking since 2000.

The defining character of its Brut Non-Vintage, and indeed the house as a whole, is the high proportion of first-rate Chardonnay in its blends, lending the fizz a freshness, but also, importantly, an appealing toastiness as the wines age – even though this house eschews the use of oak.

Assisting the house in its quality endeavour is Taittinger’s extensive landholding: it owns 288 hectares of vineyards in the appellation, making it the second largest landowner in Champagne after Moët Hennessy.

comtes

Tightener launched the 2006 vintage of its prestige cuvée, Comtes de Champagne, this year

The house has been increasing sales of its Brut NV, selling 5.5m bottles in 2015 (458,000 cases) and aims to reach the 6m mark in the near future.

The brand’s most recent high profile move was the decision to become the official Fifa Champagne, which ensured its widespread presence at corporate events during 2014’s World Cup in Brazil. This also prompted Taittinger’s decision to release a limited edition Brut NV label and gift box featuring hologramatic footballs, and the house sold 250,000 bottles of the specially packaged Champagne in 2014.

Proving particularly successful in the last five years has been Taittinger’s prestige cuvée Comtes de Champagne. Demand, above all in the UK, started to pick up with the launch of the 2000 vintage, and then accelerated when the house released the 2002 – the appellation’s best-rated vintage of the last decade (along with 2008) – although just 60,000 bottles of the prestige cuvée were made from the 2002 harvest, fewer than half the standard production: 140,000 bottles is the norm.

Taittinger has since release a 2004 and 2005 Comtes, and this year the house released the Comtes 2006, which Taittinger promoted as the first vintage of its prestige cuvée produced under the family’s ownership.

Unlike Laurent-Perrier, which is Champagne’s fifth biggest brand, Taittinger has decided not to release a zero or very low dosage Champagne, but, like Moët and Lanson, has decided to augment its range with a sweeter Champagne: Taittinger launched Nocturne NV sec (17g/l) in 2013 for the nightclub market.

Brand owner: Taittinger CCVC
Head office: 9 Place Saint-Nicaise, 51100, Reims, France
Tel: +33 326 85 84 20
Website: taittinger.com
Product range: Brut NV, Rosé NV, Folies de la Marquetterie, Prélude, Nocturne Sec, Vintage, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Comtes de Champagne Rosé, Taittinger Collection

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