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News

THE 2014 HARVEST

 

 

It was amid positively radiant sunshine that members of the French and German press were given access to a behind the scenes view of the harvest. From vineyard to cooperative, and finally reaching the Centre Vinicole - Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF), guests witnessed the continuous ballet of the arriving tankers as they arrive, which when the harvests are in full swing, deliver “the equivalent of 2 million bottles every day” according to Thierry Gomérieux, Director of Production. And it was here at the Centre Vinicole that local radio station France Bleu Champagne-Ardenne chose to broadcast a special live harvest edition. This was the perfect opportunity for its President, Véronique Blin and Managing Director, Dominique Pierre, to emphasise the role of the CV-CNF: “On a daily basis, we work very closely with our members, who are the owners of this company. Indeed, these very members are in charge of its destiny, and steer its future direction. Two key words encapsulate our relationship: proximity and services. The harvest is our most crucial period, when we gather the fruit of an entire year’s labour.” 

And for Guillaume Roffiaen (photo), Director of OEnology and Quality, the 2014 harvest is definitely all about quality. “As a result of the mild weather, the grapes were able to gain in concentration and aromas. Optimum ripeness levels were achieved, with good freshness and persistent acidity, enabling the wines to be stored as long as possible.” From now on, secrets are a thing of the past throughout the entire Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte production process, or almost…!

 

 

 

 

The CV-CNF unites
82 cooperatives in Champagne

AN UNPARALLELED
GRAPE SUPPLY

The cooperative status of the Centre Vinicole – Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has the unique advantage of the wealth and diversity of its fruit supply, guaranteed by grape growers with a unique savoir-faire.

Their unrivalled position allows the brand access to more than 2,250 hectares of this unique vineyard; with its northern position, climatic conditions where Atlantic and continental influences converge, a naturally irrigated chalk subsoil, plantings on the slopes and a wide variety of parcels, which make this an original terroir and a controlled designation of origin, or appellation controlée. In the quest for the finest quality, a single imperative governs every decision : to respect nature and express the true character of the terroir.

Grapes are harvested exclusively by hand to keep the berries intact until they enter the press, thus guaranteeing the quality of the juices and avoiding oxidation at all costs.  Picking manually also enables the growers to select only the finest grapes, and in so doing provide the Chief Winemaker with incomparable, unparalleled quality.

The CV-CNF’s fruit supply is thus sourced from 13 of the 17 Champagne Grand Cru vineyards, 33 of 42 Premier Crus and 259 of 320 other Crus from the Champagne appellation. From the Marne Valley to the Côte des Bar via the Saint-Thierry Massif, Montagne de Reims, Côte de Sézanne and the Ardre Valley, le CV-CNF can rely on the professionalism and exacting standards of more than 5,000 grape growers.

Not only is the grape supply diverse, but the different varieties are also of extremely high quality. Made up of 25% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 50% Pinot Meunier, the grapes represent an unparalleled aromatic spectrum.

Chardonnay, with its floral and citrus notes, brings elegance and finesse to the Champagne, while the Pinot Noir, with its red fruit aromas and considerable structure, brings body and power. Finally, Pinot Meunier imparts softness, roundness and fruit character to the wines. And rather like three primary colours on an artist’s palette, these three varietals form the foundations of all the wines for the Chief Winemaker of the House.

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History

A MAN BEHIND THE NAME

Nicolas Feuillatte was an exceptional man in every respect. With his sense of daring and innate entrepreneurial spirit, throughout his career he has perfected the art of transforming his ideas into pure genius.  Having made his fortune in the United States, he decided to create a Champagne that would reflect his own personality: hedonistic, and with exacting standards when it comes to the quality of the experience that he delights in sharing.

And it is from this tiny spark that his greatest achievement would flourish. Often found in the company of the who’s who of society, he decided that the Nicolas Feuillatte brand must in the first instance be able to satisfy the most discerning of palates, in order to also satisfy a wider audience. The Champagne he created was elegant and sophisticated and an immediate hit with an exceptional group of A-listers, amongst them Jackie Kennedy-Onassis and Lauren Bacall...

The brand’s incredible journey was to take a new turn in 1986, when two visionary worlds were to collide: that of Nicolas Feuillatte, the unconventional, dedicated entrepeneur and the Centre Vinicole de la Champagne (CVC), a bold and pioneering organisation in the Champagne region. For the former, the time was ripe to expand his already successful business operating under the Nicolas Feuillatte brand, while the latter, the CVC, federating a unified group of wine growers, was looking to add new impetus to assure its continued phenomenal success, backed strongly by its visionary leader, Henri Macquart, who was President from 1972-1980. A name, an organisational structure and Divine Intervention. Utterly convinced, Nicolas Feuillatte relinquished the brand to the CVC, which would later become the iconic Centre Vinicole – Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte. This union would mark the starting point of their meteoric success.

Faced with competition from centuries-old Champagne Houses, in just 35 years, the brand has climbed through the ranks to the roster of the Champagne greats. The secret to its success lies in remaining true to its traditions and respecting the valuable work of its member growers and indeed all its teams. In this way the Champagne House has preserved the nobility and authenticity of the brand, purely and simply.

“HE HAS PERFECTED THE ART OF TRANSFORMING HIS IDEAS INTO PURE GENIUS”

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Winemaking

MAN AT THE VERY HEART OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS

The Centre Vinicole - Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has a modern, exceptional production facility at its disposal, located in Chouilly, at the heart of the AOC Champagne area. This outstanding facility lies at the cutting edge of technology, equipped with stainless steel tanks with a total capacity of 304,000hl, a high performance gyropalette riddling system and ultra-efficient disgorging, finishing and dressing lines.

But above and beyond a lengthy inventory of state of the art equipment, the automation of the different stages involved in producing Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is essentially down to man and his creative talent.

This partnership of cutting-edge technology and human talent lies at the heart of the intense emotion surrounding the Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte experience. “Our entire wine history is created with the utmost respect for the traditional Champagne method”, explains David Henault, Chief Winemaker.

This obsession for quality and style is evident at a much earlier stage than producing a bottle of Champagne, at blending.  At this stage the style of the wine will be determined. Blending is approached with the ultimate respect for the brand’s heritage and for the discerning palate of aficionados.

The skilful art of blending lies in the perfect marriage of different aromatic and organoleptic qualities. It takes weeks for the Chief Winemaker to taste, evaluate and marry the different Cru wines, whose qualities and specific characteristics he knows, in relation to the original lots.

This is why there are several blends, and not a single blend. He must also carry out “marriages” that he will be able to repeat year after year to achieve the recognisable House style.

“Blending is creation” comments David Henault, whose role is much like the “nose” in a perfume house. The skilful art of the nose is in fact to select fragrances from within a palette of several thousand, to blend them to form delicate harmonies until finally determining the perfect marriage that will delight its audience.

At the moment of blending, David Henault is faced with more than 150 Cru wines from three Champagne grape varieties. Like a nose, and depending on his ultimate aim in terms of power, elegance and fruit character, he will draw from this palette in order to conceive the Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes.  It is at this point also that he must decide whether the quality of the grapes from a particular year is worthy of vintage status.

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Inside information

TIME REFINES
THE WORK OF MAN

A wine is composed of three types of aromas. Primary aromas are those found in the grapes. Secondary aromas evolve while the Champagne is being created, from blending right up until the “prise de mousse”, when the bubbles start to form. From this point forwards, the wine enters a new stage in its existence, during which it will develop tertiary aromas, which develop over time and while ageing in the cellars.

“Wine is living matter”, confides David Henault. The longer it is allowed to gain in maturity and age in the cellar, the more its style and character will evolve. And it is precisely this ageing that will 

provide that unique “touch” that will characterise the House style”.
According to law, Brut Champagne must spend a minimum 15 months in the cellars, and three years for vintage Champagne. At Nicolas Feuillatte, we have decided to take this even further to retain the style and identity of our wines.

Henceforth, the Brut Champagnes spend 2 to 3 years in the cellars. “Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes will gain in freshness, spontaneity and purity.  This decision is a major constituent of the Nicolas Feuillatte house style - naturally unique”. As for the vintage Champagnes, they must age in the cellars for at least 4 to 5 years, to take the time to develop to their true potential. “Ageing can even stretch to 8 to 10 years for the Palmes d’Or Champagne collection.”

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21 different wines with 68 vintages

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  53 wines 

2017 Opus One / Ruby. Cassis, blueberries, anise, spices, vanilla, liquorice, some coffee, layered nose. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, dark fruits, juicy, spices, liquorice, detailed and layered, nuanced, intense and superb length. 96

6d 11h ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  56 wines 

The Champagne Magazine's "The 100-Best Champagnes 2022" tasting - Day 2.

1m 19d ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  2 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  198 wines 

Wow, the 100 Best Champagnes ranking for 2021 is launched. It was such a pleasure to be part of the tasting panel and experience the great overall quality of all the champagnes. Such a superb line-up from prestige champagnes to non-vintages from Grands Maisons to growers and coops. Where there any surprises? Hell yes, check out the rankings and you'll see!

9m 27d ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  47 wines 

100 Best Champagne semifinals continue.... Some great surprises, such as Alfred Gratien Brut Millésime 2007!

11m 29d ago

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  40 wines 

The hard work of assessing hundreds of champagnes for The 100 Best Champagnes 2021 has started! First tasting session behind. Great champagnes with very consistent quality.

1y 1m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  40 wines 

Champagne Magazine's The 100 Best Champagnes 2021 Day 1 -


6 more days to go.

1y 1m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  21 wines 

New year's eve brought me a real challenge: I was asked to name a number of "regular" Brut Champagne of renowned houses to be recommended for the readers of a German newspaper. As I had only two hours to answer, I realized I should taste some of the well known names in the new year to get an overview what is available in the market for non vintage Brut and Rosé. The tasting showed some surprises, a quite high level and a quite homogenous one as well. Therefore the blind tasting, hold with some wine friends in Berlin, was not only work but provided some fun too.

1y 7m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  2 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  44 wines 

Champagne Magazine's The 100 Best Champagnes 2018-tasting / Day 1

3y 6m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  37 wines 

The 100 Best Champagne -day 5 with Prestige Cuvées.

3y 9m ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  35 wines 

The Best 100 Champagnes 2017 -tasting, Day 3 - Blanc de Noirs Champagnes.

4y 21d ago

 Saana Kukkavaara, Wine Blogger (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  61 wines 

A long day with latest prestige releases.

4y 26d ago

 Essi Avellan MW , Wine Writer (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Nicolas Feuillatte . In a tasting of  34 wines 

The 100 Best Champagnes 2017 - tasting day II - 40 Blanc de Blancs!

4y 29d ago

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