Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d'Or Grand Cuvee 2002
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
This champagne has a pronounced clear and bright golden yellow appearance. Delicate bubbles give way into a majestic sustained mousse. First aromas of white pear, peach, walnut and dried apricot fruit give way to secondary more intense aromas of pepper, ginger and red fruits. On the palate the blend is clean and direct with delicate bubbles that reveal a magnificent mineral quality to the blend. It has excellent structure and an incredibly long finish with unforgettable elegance.
This is perfect as an aperitif with seafood tapas, or to serve with a main course such as Spider crab tagliarini and baby tomatoes or seabass a la plancha.
Wine Spectator - "Refined and focused, this sleek version offers ripe flavors of poached apple, ground anise, almond financier, cassis and candied lemon zest, carried by the fine, silky finish to a lightly smoky finish."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright gold. Smoky pear, nectarine and dried fig scents are lifted by lemon curd and white flowers. Toasty and broad on entry, then brighter and more tangy in the mid-palate, offering sweet citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a hint of buttery brioche. Closes with building smokiness, a touch of anise and very good persistence."
Wine Enthusiast - "Soft and rounded with ripe apple and pear flavors, this wine expresses the richness of the vintage. Hints of toast and cookie are changing the fruit character, making this a wine that’s ready to drink while still fresh, yet starting to show good aging as well."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Long on the toasty imperatives of lengthy time en tirage and a wine that is, at this point, wholly unconcerned with fruit, this deep and very complex sparkler counts a wonderfully creamy mousse among its considerable virtues. It is, however, a touch stiff in balance, and, if never stinting in richness, it wants for a little more refinement and finesse to win inclusion with those at the very head of the class."
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Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Winery
Nicolas Feuillatte created Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte in 1976 as an exclusive Reserve Champagne that today remains the guardian of Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte's quality and style. In 1986, Nicolas Feuillatte created a partnership with the Centre Vinicole de la Champagne, the largest association of growers in Champagne, situated in the heart of the vineyards, near the small Grand Cru village of Chouilly on the outskirts of Epernay.
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes are the exclusive issue of Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards and all cuvees are distinguished by the rich full expression of Champagne's unique terroirs. View all Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Wines
About ChampagneChampagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.