Nicolas Feuillatte is part of champagnes oldest (and largest) co-operative establishment (CV-CNF). Formed in 1972 and now comprising 82 co-operative members it is France’s most popular champagne in its domestic market.
So large is Nicolas Feuillatte, that it serves Moet et Chandon as a production and storage facility for its champagnes. And it also has plenty more room – enough so for 100 million bottles! This is a staggering volume, especially when you contemplate that NF sells around 9 million bottles per year.
Yet in spite of these volumes, here in Australia it is not easy to come by. Currently it is only stocked in a select few smaller retail chains such as Camperdown Cellars or Jim’s Cellars – with some small stock floating around Dan Murphy’s specialty cellars. When you can find it, it represents great value at around $50 per bottle (and less if bought online).
Even rarer to find are its Palmes D’Or Vintages, which I’ve some luck in being able to sample at a tasting and also offering solid value (albeit in odd bottles).
From: Chouilly, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: $47 a bottle from Camperdown Cellars
Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier (40/20/40)
Aging: 3 Years minimum
Sipped: Early November 2016
In The Glass:
Look: A pale golden colour, with a very nice amount of fizziness.
Smell: Feuillatte’s soft aroma is an interesting mix of pastry and yeast smells with lemon accents.
Taste: Brut Reserve has a very fruity introduction with a pleasant mix of honey, apples, lemons and sweet tropical fruit – notably some pineapple – notes. It has a fresh and softly dry character that settles in the middle of the tongue with a nice tang.
It maintains this sensation for a short to medium duration.
Notes: I really hope that this champagne becomes more widely available here in Australia. Its striking Cobalt Blue labelling with gold trim really allows it to stand out.
Party Potential: I think that Nicolas Feuillatte has value in the ice bucket for your next hosted party – especially if a French theme is at hand (France’s most popular, after all). It presents even better value if you plan ahead and buy online in bulk at mid $40 per bottle. It is also great as your next BYO offering – because it’s interesting and present some curiosity and conversation (and helps that it tastes nice too!).
As a Gift: It would make a nice present for anyone if you are looking to spend around $50, however at this stage it’s a little boutique in this part of the world (but still a mass produced champagne) so I would say to give it to someone you know likes things a bit different, or is a big French-o-maniac and already knows what it is!
At Home: This make great little dinner party fare – for the conversation and great odds nobody at the table will have had it before! This would also make a nice little addition to the Xmas table setting if you plan on having a few different ones to taste over the day.
Matching: NF makes for a decent aperitif, and many seafood and white meat canapes will do well with it. I also think lightly salted popcorn will do great things with this wine. It can be drunk on its own but I wouldn’t go crazy on it.
Score & Verdict:
A charming foreigner, the accent and the cultural quirks have their sexiness – you find them kind of appealing – something different. Of course you go to where they come from and then you realise are a dime a dozen!
At $47 I feel it is decent value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
I had some friends over for a lunch (turned also into dinner) party where we kicked off with this Brut Reserve.
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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