Champers fit for a Gentleman Spy

Often overlooked in favour of its more heavily marketed peers, Taittinger Champagne is a beautifully elegant drink – not the mention the literary Bond’s favourite fizz

Article by Rupert Watkins

Taittinger may be one of the newer Champagne houses but it has, despite being often overlooked by some in favour of more heavily marketed peers, built up an elegant reputation. Indirectly tracing its roots back as far as 1734 and the vineyards around the Château de la Marquetterie, the Taittinger family bought the Château off the wine house of Forest-Fourneaux in 1932.

Since then it has garnered a following of those who enjoy its elegance and lightness. Before he became a product placement manager rather than a spy, it was James Bond’s Champagne of choice in the original Fleming novels. In Casino Royale, Bond describes it as, “probably the finest champagne in the world” whilst at the start of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service having reached Royale-Les-Eaux his first act in his hotel room is to order a bottle of Taittinger Blanc de Blancs. The house has its minute of fame on the silver screen in From Russia With Love.

The 2009 Brut Vintage has a lovely mineral and lemony edge on the nose whilst on the palette it is vibrant with gooseberry hints coming through strongly to balance a pleasing acidity. There is a long and complex finish. It is a 50 per cent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend. This would be a fabulous apéritif and I’m not sure I’d put it with food – I think this is one to relish on its own.

The Brut Prestige Rosé is likewise an elegant drink. Fresh with nicely tart hints of raspberry on the nose, on the palette it is fruity with blackcurrants and again raspberries to the fore. There is a nice finish. Whilst you could pair this with desert, I actually enjoyed this with fresh crab linguini and it beautifully balanced the flavours of the crab; I would certainly use a Rosé of this quality alongside fish and crustacea. A blend of 45 per cent Pinot Noir, 30 per cent Chardonnay and 25 per cent Pinot Meunier.

So should you be in need of a delicious and possibly slightly less well known fizz – whatever the season – just think, what would Fleming’s Bond do…?  riddle_stop 2

Widely available in the UK.



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