Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d'Or Grand Cuvee 1998
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
The wine is yellow-gold in color, but for once, let's also consider the sound of the wine. As the bubbles reach the surface, the babbling sparkle echoes the majestic and persistent liveliness of the mousse. A persistent stream of bubbles rises in the glass and a distinct collar appears around the rim.
The nose shows complexity and maturity, with successive aromas of violets and black cherries developing into butter and toasty nuances.
The wine is generous and unctuous, revealing crushed fruit flavors and secondary aromas of mocha, subtly lifted with spice. The flavors are beautifully balanced and the finish is elegant, harmonious and fully developed.
Equally delicious with truffle salad or caviar, or even with simply cooked fresh pasta, where the texture and simple flavors enhance the sensuality and complex aromas of the Champagne. Dare to try it with sardines, or with a mature, hard rind cheese. To complement pasta with truffles and gourmet dishes such as: foie gras, lobster, scallops, fruit tart (with apricots or tropical fruits).
A blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot noir
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com - "Gold-bronze hue displays a very fine stream of active effervescence. Pretty bouquet of vanilla, buttered bread and yeasty brioche scents. Crisp flavors on entry with notable integration of lemon chiffon, malted grain and a laser beam of bracing, citrus minerality. Well-balanced finish highlights bread dough and offers an interesting, nutty appeal."
Wine Spectator - "A mix of apricot, dried cherry and lemon aromas and flavors are sharply etched, and there's a grainy texture to this bubbly, which has intensity, even if it is a bit chunky. Drink now through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 1998 Brut Cuvee Palmes d'Or is a sexy drink. While not a blockbuster, the wine reveals an engaging, harmonious personality. The open, inviting bouquet leads to an expressive, generous core of fruit with pretty notes of early tertiary character that add complexity. Brioche, hazelnuts, dried pears and dried apricots linger on a long, beautifully articulated finish. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2014. No disgorgement date available. "
Wine Enthusiast - "This Palmes d'Or style is used to create a wine rather than a Champagne. It works here, the structure and the toast all giving a mouthfeel of Burgundy. The acidity of course is characteristic of Champagne, but it is well integrated into the yeast, the green stone fruits and the pink grapefruit freshness."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright yellow-gold. Assertively perfumed bouquet of honeyed apple and pear, dried flowers, buttered toast and smoky lees. A dense, chewy Champagne, with deep orchard and caramelized pit fruit flavors, followed by a note of dried fig. This serious, dense wine needs rich food; or pair it with a washed-rind cheese."
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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 ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne 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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review2.52.6 out of 5 stars
4 ratings, 1 with reviewBergsund - Belvedere Tiburon, CA43/22/2011marcus federico - Washington, DC111/16/2011T Won - Honolulu, HI24/23/2011christmascard - Houston, TX12/16/2011I guess it was on sale for a reason; no obvious cork problems, maybe it became too warm at some point. While it did not taste corked, there was no fruit, a bit yeasty, still had lots of life.