Champagne Taittinger created Comtes de Champagne Rosé with the 1966 vintage, released in 1972, as the companion cuvée to Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. The cuvée is a blend of red and white wines obtained from the first pressing of grapes grown in the villages of the Champagne region most highly-rated for Pinot Noir grapes, and predominantly from the villages of Bouzy and Ambonnay, where Champagne Taittinger's holdings assure the supply of fruit of the highest quality from year to year. Taittinger's extensive vineyard properties, totaling 752 acres in several of Champagne's most highly-rated vineyards, are third in importance among those of the great champagne houses, allowing the firm to rely primarily on its own grapes for the production of its portfolio of cuvées.
Comtes de Champagne Rosé is elaborated and brought to maturity in the l3th century chalk cellars once belonging to the Abbey of St. Nicaise, where each step of the méthode champenoise is performed traditionally. Following harvest, the grapes are pressed immediately in press houses located among the vineyards, yielding a first pressing, referred to as the "cuvée," which is followed by two more pressings, referred to as the first and second "tailles." The greater part of the juice, and that of the finest quality, is extracted in the "cuvée;" neither of the "tailles" are used in Comtes de Champagne Rosé.
In all, no more than 100 litres (approximately 26 gallons) of juice per 160 kilograms (approximately 350 pounds) of fruit may be extracted from the combined three pressings. The juice is transported to the vinification facility, and a cool fermentation of the must takes place under temperature controlled conditions, after which the wine rests until the end of the winter. Blending for color occurs after the primary fermentation, and thereafter the final cuvée undergoes the secondary fermentation in the bottle at 45 to 50 F in Taittinger's cool cellars, during which the wine acquires complexity and the fine, pinpoint bubbles characteristic of its sparkle. Prior to dégorgement, Comtes de Champagne Rosé is aged five to seven years to fully capture the elegant complexity and full body of the Pinot Noir grape.
This sublime rosé Champagne, produced from Pinot Noir (70%) and Chardonnay grapes in years exceptional enough to declare a vintage, is appropriately presented in an antique-style bottle of XVIIIth century design. Typical of the Taittinger style, Comtes Champagne Rosé is a wine of exquisite refinement; its brilliant salmon pink color is punctuated by fine, lasting pinpoint bubbles. The sweet, red berry fragrance of the variety is offset by very subtle notes of earth and minerals. Clean, vibrant red fruit flavors are confirmed on the generous palate, balanced by a crisp, refined acidity which carries into an elegant, complex finish of considerable persistence.