Virginie Taittinger worked with her father Claude Taittinger (92 years young today) from 1986 to 2007 while also in charge of marketing, communication and general management at Bordeaux wine merchant Samazeuih.
In 2013, she launched her own Champagne Virginie T. Annual production is about 35,000 bottles compared with Champagne Taittinger’s seven million bottles. (Today, Champagne Taittinger belongs to another branch of the family).
‘Whereas the big brands sell to supermarkets, big chains and airlines, we sell direct to the customers. We kiss all the grapes,’ was how the champenois put it.
‘We sell 50% in France, 30% in Belgium and 20% the rest of the world. Singapore is our most important Asian market.’
Virginie Taittinger has champagne coursing through her veins. Her paternal side is well-known enough. As for her mother’s side of the family, they founded Piper-Heidsieck.
Just as she had worked with her father, Virginie Taittinger is joined in her new creation by her son Ferdinand Pougatch who was also in Singapore.
Down-to-earth and speaking from the hip, the French lady was a breath of fresh air when she made the following point.
‘I consider it a compliment when people say “I drink your champagne like water”. I don’t make champagne for specialists.’
Champagne Virginie T Brut
Bright straw light yellow. Fruity – apples and pomelo –with round, refreshing acidity. A gentle creamy texture. Impressive. The dosage is a low 6g/l. Aged 6 years on lees before disgorgement. Comprised of 70% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay, and 10% pinot menunier.
Champagne Virginie T Rosé
Light, bright pink. Between a light aperitif and a winey style. Fruit – including red cherries – and firmness in the same sip. With a little grip of tannins on the finish. The dosage is 7g/l. Well-made. The blend is 55% chardonnay and 45% pinot noir from the Grand Cru village of Bouzy.
Champagne Virginie T Extra Brut
A hint of brioche, ripe citrus fruit, and delicate smoky note. Creamy. Although the blend is the same as the Brut – 70% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay, and 10% pinot menunier – the chardonnay personality is quite assertive. Impressive. Eight years on less. The dosage is 4g/l.
Champagne Virginie T Brut 6
“6” here refers to six years of ageing on lees. Fruity, including brioche, dried citrus peel, and dried Chinese prunes. Nutty. More evolved than last three wines. Intense and persistent. Outstanding. The blend is 80% of the 2008 harvest and 20% of the 2007 vintage.