It can be rather difficult to discern the difference of champagnes by quality and price point, but the champagnes at Nicolas Feuillatte make the job easy. Of course Nicolas is a Frenchman, and his brand which was created in 1978 after living in the USA was a favorite of the likes of Lauren Bacall and Jackie Kennedy. By all accounts his champagne is #1 in France which might surprise a few people and anything new from this label is a major event.
Look out for their brand new release this month called D’Luscious, a Demi-Sec Rosé retailing for $59. Coral pink in color with a taste of red and black summer fruits, morello cherry, blueberry and raspberry, it certainly does sound terrific, and the press release promises a full bodied, rich and spicy drink with a long and elegant finish—I can’t wait to try it.
Three grapes are used in the structure of this champagne, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. The aging process is almost three years, and it is suspected that this rosé champagne will appeal to sophisticated people with a love of spicy cuisine.
When it comes to their established brands, let’s start with the Cuvee Speciale Vintage 2005, aged for up to five years and consisting of 50 different crus. It also consists of the three grapes with Chardonnay providing the elegance and finesse, Pinot Noir the roundness and structure and Pinot Meunier provides the fruit character.
Food pairings for this champagne are sautéed prawns w/lemongrass, venison carpaccio w/wild cranberries and escalope of veal-Milanese style. It also goes well with Tandoori Chicken, as well as with traditional chicken salad.
The Cuvee 225 Vintage is just the two grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and is aged for up to four years and consists of 25 crus. Fermented in an oak barrel, this champagne has flavors of vanilla, honey, spice, apricot and peach. Barrel fermentation allows magnification of the character of each grape variety.
Food pairings for this clean vintage are roasted chicken, vanilla lobster, monkfish and steamed salmon in coconut milk, or for more a American palate, try it with pecan waffles. Look to pay close to $100 for both of the 2005 vintages.
Unfortunately the very popular Brut 2004 is no longer available in stores, but they still have the Chardonnay 2005, Brut Reserve NV, Rosé NV and Palmes d’Or Brut 2002.