Vinification is the process that transforms the grapes into wine. The process of vinification differ from region to region, financial state of the winery and the grape types. The harvesting time and the type of oak used for aging are based on the region in which the wine grapes are grown.

Wine making process involves the following stages:

  • The first step in wine making process is Harvesting or Picking. Grapes should be harvested at the right time in order to make good wine. Harvesting can be done either mechanically or by hand.
  • The process of separating the grapes from the stems and cluster parts is called Destemming. Some of the wine makers keep some fragments of the stem to increase the wine tannin.
  • After destemming the grapes are crushed to extract the juice from the skin. This is done before the fermentation process begins. In the olden days bare feet is used to extract the grape juice, now a day machines like crushers are used.
  • Separation of grape juice and the skin is named as pressing. After crushing the grape juice will flow freely, selected wineries use pressers to make sure maximum juice is released.
  • Once the grapes are pressed they are introduced into the process of fermentation. During this process the grape juice are converted into alcoholic beverage. The yeast interacts with the sugar in the grape juice and converts them into ethanol and carbon dioxide.
  • Once the wine is purified and refined, they are preserved with sulfur dioxide or potassium sorbate. During the natural process of fermentation a minimum amount of sulfites are produced, but more is added for the use of commercial preservation.
  • Wines are aged for a particular amount of time to get more welcoming wine. Once after purification, the wines are moved to wooden barrels for aging. Metal vats, concrete vats and glass carboys are also used in some cases to increase the flavor.
  • After aging, the wines are bottled. During the process of bottling a final dose of sulfite is added to the wine to prevent it from uninvited fermentation in the bottle. The bottles are then sealed with cork and screw caps.

Decanter's tasting director Christelle Guibert attended a rare vertical tasting of Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne, from a private collection...

comtes de champagne

Comtes de Champagne: Vertical tasting For most of us, Champagne evokes celebrations, glamour and special occasions. Rarely does it bring …Continue reading »

The post Taittinger Comtes de Champagne tasted: From 1961 to 2007 appeared first on Decanter.


Decanter's tasting director Christelle Guibert attended a rare vertical tasting of Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne, from a private collection...

comtes de champagne

Comtes de Champagne: Vertical tasting For most of us, Champagne evokes celebrations, glamour and special occasions. Rarely does it bring …Continue reading »

The post Taittinger Comtes de Champagne tasted: From 1961 to 2007 appeared first on Decanter.

Decanter's tasting director Christelle Guibert attended a rare vertical tasting of Taittinger's Comtes de Champagne, from a private collection...

comtes de champagne

Comtes de Champagne: Vertical tasting

For most of us, Champagne evokes celebrations, glamour and special occasions. Rarely does it bring to mind the windswept Swedish town of Malmö.


Scroll down for the tasting notes and to learn more about Comtes de Champagne


But here we are gathered, 17 lucky guests, for an extraordinary vertical tasting of Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne. This is thanks to our host Marina Olsson, a member of at the Tasting Group Gomseglet Wine & Champagne Connoisseurs, and her extensive private cellar.

Now running to more than 800 different Champagnes, it must rank as one of the largest collections in the world.


‘It made me realise that we drink our Champagne far too young’


Vitalie Taittinger was also present, and joined the family business after studying art. Champagne may be part of her day to day life, but this vertical was an avant-premiere.

A tasting of 27 vintages of Comtes de Champagne is unheard of. Many of the bottles came from Marina’s private cellar, and some were sourced for the event from importers in Sweden and London.

For the first time, one bottle (the 1993) was bought at auction, from a restaurant in Sweden. From the 27 bottles, not one was oxidised or in poor condition.

The Champagnes were served blind in flights of four to six wines. Part of the fun was to guess the vintages, and it made the tasting challenging, often rewarding, but most importantly a great educational experience.

To add a twist to this event, a ringer was also hidden among the others. As we finished the day with Taittinger 1970 from Marina’s private cellar, it made me realise that we often drink our Champagne far too young. Very few white wines in the world will be able to age as gracefully as the ones we tasted.


See Christelle’s ratings and tasting notes

Exclusively for Premium members

 

Champagne Taittinger

Taittinger is one of the few houses that are still family-owned, but the journey was not straightforward. The original house was founded in 1734, but Vitalie’s great-grandfather, Pierre Taittinger, acquired the house in 1931.

Following his retirement, her grand-father, François Taittinger, took over. His brothers Jean and Claude joined the company in 1946 and 1949 respectively, and after François’ tragic death Claude took charge, running the company from 1960 until 2005, when it was sold to the Starwood group.

During that year, Vitalie’s father, Pierre-Emmanuel, who was working at Taittinger, had fought hard to purchase the Champagne house. A year later, Taittinger was back in family hands, thanks to the support of the growers and Union Champagne.

The same year, Vitalie and brother Covis joined their father – she is the marketing and communications director, while he is the export director.

Comtes de Champagne

Made entirely from Chardonnay, Comtes de Champagne was introduced in 1952, and up to today Taittinger has released 36 vintages of this deluxe cuvée, with the 37th, the 2007, to be released next year.

The grapes are sourced from the grand cru villages of the Côtes des Blancs, mostly from Avize, Mesnil and Oger, but also some grapes from Chouilly and Cramant.

The vintages from the 50s were made in barrels, but in the 60s and 70s these were replaced with stainless steel. Chef de caves Loïc Dupont re-introduced oak barrels in 1988.

The wine goes through full malolactic fermentation and spends between five to 10 years on lees, depending on the vintage. Today, thanks to the riper grapes being produced, the dosage is around 9g/l, compared to 15 to 16g/l in the 1970s.

With a total production of around 150,000 to 300,000 bottles, Comtes de Champagne remains one of the more exclusive deluxe cuvées, especially compared to Dom Perignon, which is believed to have a production of around six million bottles.

The post Taittinger Comtes de Champagne tasted: From 1961 to 2007 appeared first on Decanter.


Read full article on decanter.com


Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Each wine is unique. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive yet variable factors that give each wine a unique character.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Winemakers all over the world are combining wine making traditions of millennia with innovative approaches and ideas, to address consumer demand for high quality products and a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.