Mastering state of cutting edge techniques
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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