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.
The 1981 vintage bottle was designed by the French-born American artist Arman (1928–2005), who was known beginning in the 1960s for his “accumulations”—masses of identical common objects, such as trumpets or axes, welded into a single composition. Musical instruments in various stages of deconstruction were a major theme in his work.