Vintage and multi-vintage Champagnes
The cornerstone of Champagne tradition, blending (assemblage) is the pinnacle of the Champagne making process. Grape varieties, crus and individual harvest years offer multiple variations, and any one of these elements may become the focus for a particular Champagne style.
For the chief winemaker, reserve wines play a central role in the creative process at Nicolas Feuillatte. Selected for their quality, consistency, diversity and long ageing potential, they account for the balance in multi-vintage Nicolas Feuillatte cuvées. “Reserve wines will create the future cuvées ; carefully kept in the cellars, these wines from previous years simultaneously represent the backbone, the vision and the consistency of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes, a precious spice which will support the aromatic and structural potential of the wines from a particular year,” explains Guillaume Roffiaen.
Held in a tank to continue their maturation before joining the blends, they will one day complement the essential character of a harvest base year, contributing to its consistent style by softening the structure in a hot year and imparting body in cool years; an entire series of delicate adjustments judiciously supervised by the chief winemaker.
In the case of vintages, the prevailing weather conditions from a specific year dictate. The vintage and its character bequeath their individual stamp on the cuvée, steering its tonality, whether it is “ripe” or “lean”, or if it will contain more dark-skinned or light-skinned grapes. The nuances of each vintage are revealed to elect whether they will come to the fore. A vintage wine will bring the specific character of the year to the Champagne, to which is added the typical style and singularity of a particular cuvée, whether Cuvée Spéciale, Collection Vintage, Grands Crus or Palmes d’Or. In this way, the prestigious, complex and distinguished Champagnes within the Nicolas Feuillatte range tells not only the essence of the harvest year, but also their individual story. In the same way, the quintessence of the vintage is embodied in the prestige cuvée Palmes d’Or, a symbol of the refined, precise and elegant style of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes.