Nicolas Feuillatte Brut is a Great Gateway Champagne
Who doesn’t love Champagne? I mean, I can imagine balking at the reputation-driven price, set to limit itself to very special occasions or the ultra-wealthy, but strip away cost-conciousness and you’re left with a fine beverage. Oh, that’s right — my very own wife is on record as saying “I prefer prossecco to Champagne.” So people like that do exist. But how to convince them to cross the bubbly aisle, especially when cost is taken into account? Meet Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut Champagne.
Is it the best bottle of bubbly in the world? Not a chance. But neither is it priced thusly. In fact, it can go toe-to-toe with a few of the $70+ name brands for significantly cheaper. Like, $20 bucks cheaper (so you can also grab an emergency bottle of prossecco to have on hand if your picky partner really plays hard to get).
But I reckon you won’t have to have it on hand — Nicolas Feuillatte Brut, called “Blue Label” in the marketing copy manages to hit a few well-loved prossecco notes while still laying a decent foundation of Champagne flavor. It’s a great example of a gateway bubbly, and priced accordingly. Here’s what it’s like:
Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut Champagne Review
Some Champagnes really lean into a “deep” flavour profile. Notes of earth and stone are just as prominent as fruit and floral charafteristics, such as in the awe-spiring Krug. Contrast that with the archetypal prossecco — bright citrus notes mingle with florals. A totally light experience. In the case of Nicolas Feuillatte Brut, a light and bright profile plays well in the sandbox with some classic Champagne characteristics.
It pours a very pale straw, with ample effervescence. On the nose are lemon zest, spring garden and a kiss of canteloupe. The aromas aren’t overwhelming, but Nicolas Feuillatte Brut is still pretty assertive in the nose.
The flavour is quite nice, but maybe a step back in intensity. The body is also on the light side, although this isn’t so much a detriment as an ally in the other refreshing qualities of this champagne. The citrus from the nose takes on a sweeter quality (think more mandarin orange than lemon) and is joined by just a kiss of the breadiness I always associate with perhaps the most iconic wine region in the world. There’s more melon, and just a tiny bit of the floral note from the nose, all balanced with a nice-but-not-over-the-top acidity. All in all, Nicolas Feuillatte Brut ers on the side of subtlety.
The finish is surprisingly long, but remains crisp and refrshing. All in all, this is a fine drink although not too much of a thinker. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — this might not be the bottle you pick up to dazzle your wine-head friends, but it could be the perfect bubbly to expose someone to the fundamentals of Champagne. It’s definitely a bubbly I’ll continue to enjoy sipping slow.