10% Chardonnay for elegance and finesse,
45% Pinot Noir for roundness and structure and
45% Meunier for fruitiness and soft, supple character.
The vineyards are immersed in a vast stretch of vines, and be swept away by unique panoramic views of the vineyards, as they constantly transform before your very eyes over the course of the day, and with the change of the seasons. For maybe this is what the luxury of emotion is all about; simply taking the time to grasp the moment with both hands, recognising the value and beauty in the here and now, and knowing how to appreciate life’s enchanted moments.
Nicolas Feuillatte is a unique model in Champagne, which draws its strength from the collective commitment and solidarity of 4,500 growers located across the entire Champagne region.
Drawing their energy and distinctive flavours from a remarkable array of crus, together with the three main grape varietals – chardonnay, pinot noir and meunier – and allowed to truly shine as a result of the subtle art of blending (assemblage), Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes reflect the balance, finesse and freshness of this unique land.
This magical journey is only made possible through an extensive supply of grapes sourced from across the entire Champagne region, together with a carefully honed selection of Premiers and Grands Crus villages. Chardonnay imparts lightness and floral, fruity aromas where white fruit notes shine, together with a distinctly feminine character, while pinot noir brings structure and notes of red and white fruits, with a more masculine edge. Finally, meunier develops delicious fruity notes, on a spectrum of yellow and citrus fruits. It is supple and rich, subtly binding the different elements together.
Since grapes are supplied by more than 4,500 growers across the entire Champagne region, Nicolas Feuillatte has access to a creative palette of exceptional quality. To assemble the blends, a judicious selection of crus is made from 11 of the 17 Grands Crus, 26 of the 42 Premiers Crus and 145 of the 260 remaining Champagne Crus.
In addition, a mosaic of soils creates wonderfully nuanced Champagnes. Sandy subsoils create supple, light and fruity wines, while soils on marl and limestone clay deliver wines allying structure with fruit intensity. Chalk soils bring minerality and freshness, from which aromatic complexity develops over time.
There is a strong relationship between the Centre Vinicole and the growers. Sustainable viticulture, mechanisation in the vineyards, managing crushing, soil analysis, weekly technical updates are just some of the technical training and support regularly implemented in order to improve viticultural practices.
The annual “Vignoble and Qualité” day is a key highlight focusing on quality in the vineyards. Every year, it convenes more than 400 growers to reflect on major issues relating to the Champagne vineyard including the impact of global warming, the environment and wine tourism.
Aged for 2 – 3 years in the cellars.
The freshness and structure of this Champagne blend combine to perfection with the expressive fruit of the red wine making up 18% of the blend.
The Chief Winemaker adapts dosage levels to each Champagne in order to enhance its flavours and aromas. The choice of reserve wine is crucial and takes into consideration a whole range of factors, including the proportion of cru wines, year of harvest, grape varieties, and vinification and ageing methods, in order to guarantee the intrinsic style of each Champagne.
All the elements align to create perfectly balanced Champagnes reflecting their origin. It all begins with perfectly ripe grapes vinified separately by cru, by different plot, and by grape varietal, which in years to come will form the cuvées within the range.
Like an artist in front of a blank canvas, the chief winemaker is faced with a vast spectrum of textures and aromas, offering scores of potential combinations, which epitomise the beauty and sheer wealth of the Champagne region. And since quality requires time and cannot be hurried, the amount of time each Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne quietly rests in the cellars before its release far exceeds the legal minimum: at least three years, and as many as ten years for the most prestigious cuvées such as Palmes d’Or, which is enriched by lengthy contact with the lees.
The other essential element is the addition or dosage of the liqueur d’expédition. Traditionally, this consists of adding sugar, reserve wines after disgorgement. The amount of sugar may vary depending on the legal category of the resulting Champagne (from Brut to Demi-sec).
At Nicolas Feuillatte, the particular wine used is essential in this process as it will bring the finishing touch to the cuvée and impart balance, while fine-tuning texture and tonality. The wine will always be tailored to each individual cuvée to guarantee its distinctive style. By this stage, the Champagne may have undergone malolactic fermentation, or form part of a blend of several crus, grape varietals or harvest years. Each liqueur d’expédition will be different to make its mark on the final Champagne.
“The key element is anticipating the future Champagne from its intrinsic components. Within that I include the potential of the dosage at the very start of the creative process. I base my decisions on the quality of the reserve wines or the characteristics of the vintage year, on the sensory profile of the wines and the typical character I seek in each Champagne,” explains Guillaume Roffiaen. As a result, the length of time each Champagne is allowed to rest sur lattes, which varies from Champagne to Champagne, will also influence the dosage; over time the wine will become more balanced, and each element comes together in a perfect symbiosis. In the same way, the chief winemaker also plays on the finesse of the bubbles and the aromatic components. It is a work of precision juxtaposed with the meticulous art of blending.