The Taittinger Collection Series was conceived in the late 1970s by Claude Taittinger. Long a patron of the arts, with a passionate interest in the modern schools of painting and sculpture, he perceived a natural alliance between the creation of the artist and the art of the great winemaker. Thus, in 1983, Champagne Taittinger introduced the first of its revolutionary Collection Series, uniting art and Champagne in the design of a special bottle with a laser-sealed sheath that visually expresses the artist’s concept of the magic of Champagne. Featuring the work of artists such as the French surrealist André Masson, American pop artist Robert Rauschenberg, and more recently the renowned Senegalese painter Amadou Sow, these exquisite bottles are commissioned well into the 21st century, and will perpetuate Champagne Taittinger’s affiliation with the greatest artists of our time.
The Taittinger Collection Series bottles are released only in great vintages, from a selection of the year's finest cuvées. The wines are made from Chardonnay mainly from the Grands Crus of the Côte des Blancs, and Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims and Vallée de la Marne vineyards. The fruit is pressed in the vineyards and the first pressing is transported to the winery for fermentation, followed by a second fermentation in the bottle. Aged for five or more years on the lees, the wine acquires complexity and the fine, pinpoint bubbles characteristic of its sparkle.
Painter and graphic artist André Masson (1896–1987) contributed the art for the 1982 Collection Series bottle. Masson’s work reflects an early interest in Cubism and a long association with Surrealism, which introduced him to the irrational in art. He is famous for using an automatic script, a sort of handwriting of the subconscious, to create powerfully affecting drawings, including pictures made from glue and colored sand. He is celebrated in the United States for inspiring Abstract Expressionism.