Treat Yourself: When to Splurge on Champagne

The Wine of the Week: Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Reserve

by Annette Tomei

NV, Nicholas Feuillatte, Brut Reserve, Champagne, France

When life demands a moment to treat myself, my first choice is always a luxurious splurge on Champagne. One of my all-time favorite pairings is crispy french fries with a side of béarnaise sauce and an ice cold glass of Champagne. Nicholas Feuillatte has been my go-to Champagne producer for over 15 years. It’s a surprise to me that I haven’t written about their wines until now.

In 1976, Nicholas Feuillatte (the man) inherited property near Reims in Champagne and founded his eponymous Champagne house. Ten years later, he sold to the largest cooperative producer in Champagne, Centre Vinicole. Today, grapes are still harvested by hand, and respect for terroir and fine quality remain of utmost concern. Though now, the fruit comes from over 5,000 growers on 2,250 hectares of vineyards.

Nicholas Feuillatte Brut ReserveAbout this Wine

The Brut Reserve is a traditional blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. It is aged for 3 years versus the legally required 15 months. The non-vintage designation means that it is a blend of multiple vintages – this is done to maintain a particular house flavor profile.

The color of this wine is silvery pale yellow. It has lively effervescence and persistent yet delicate mousse. Aromas of tart green apple with a bit of white peach and a hint of floral notes. Flavors are fruit forward with plenty of tangy tartness tempered with orchard fruit, white flowers, and spice. The finish is clean and refreshing.

I’ve enjoyed this wine with everything from a good book to prime steak (though my favorite pairing is mentioned above). Some other favorites include classics like silky gravlax, caviar on potato chips, and L’Explorateur (French triple cream cheese).  For something less conventional, try this with richly aromatic Indian curries.

The Verdict

There are many ways to treat yourself. At an average around $35/bottle, this wine is a great little splurge. Maybe it will become your favorite too!

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