A Princess of Champagne

Virginie Taittinger works with her son Ferdinand Pougatch who is in charge of e-commerce at Champagne Virginie T

Maison Virginie T – the Champagne House of Virginie Tattinger – is based in Sillery, famed as much for being a Grand Cru village as it is for its ticklish-sounding name in the English language.

Virginie T’s cuvées, though, are no laughing matter.

They are seriously good.

Virginie is the daughter of Claude Taittinger who ran Champagne Taittinger for 45 years from 1960 to 2005, and is credited for turning their bubbles into a world-renowned brand.

Virginie had worked 21 years at the grand marque alongside her father and was often referred to by the media as a Princess of Champagne. After all, her mother Catherine de Suarez d’Aulan, their family owned Piper Heidsieck from 1851 to 1988.

In 2013, Virginie made waves of her own by launching her own champagne.

Her family name does not appear entirely on the label which, in a sense, arouses more interest because when curiosity prompts “What does T stand out?”, the answer is “Taittinger”.

Just as Virginie had worked with her father at the family’s eponymous Champagne house, today, her son Ferdinand Pougatch works alongside his mother.

Pougatch had graduated from McGill University in Canada. He then spent three years working in wine and spirits in New York and joined her mother in August 2015 to be in charge of e-commerce and international development at Virginie T.

Mother and son were in Singapore on 30 November 2019 to launch the Champagne.

‘I have champagne coursing through my veins,’ Virginie informed the pre-Covid gathering spread over several tables.

As with other top producers, only the first pressing is used for her champagnes.

What makes Champagne Virginie T so extra remarkable is the extended ageing of the wine in bottle with the lees.

In the case of the present batch of Virgine T Brut (85% being of the 2010 vintage and the balance from reserve wine), the wine was bottled in July 2011 to undergo the secondary fermentation and was not disgorged until September 2019! An extended period of more than 8 years!! (The legal requirement is just a minimum 15 months).

The end result is a generosity of layered fruit; tiny but persistent bubbles; and, a rounded, sumptuous mouth-feel that is practically creamy. The dosage is 6 g/l, the lowest for Brut (which can be a maximum 12 g/l).

Virginie T Brut is composed of 67% Pinot Noir and 23% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Meunier, with the majority of the fruit coming from 11 Grand and Premier Cru villages.

‘The cuvée reflects the special features of the great Pinot Noir vines of the Reims hills, enhanced by the delicacy of the Cote des Blancs Chardonnays,’ Virginie informs. 

Virginie T Grande Cuvée 6 ans d’age, their prestige cuvée, is comprised of Grand Crus of the outstanding 2008 vintage and 15% reserve wine from the 2007 harvest. All the fruit comes from the Montagne de Reims, Vallee de la Marne and Cote des Blancs. The blend is 70% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Meunier. Bottled in March 2009, it was disgorged six years later in May 2015. Although this is less than the 8 years for the Brut, 6 ans d’age now has another 6 years of bottle age! Very nutty, smoky, brioche, dried citrus peel and aged apple cider. Complex, long, winey, creamy. A large glass please!!

Click here to check out Champagne Virginie T offer at wineguru.com.sg

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