One of the leading Champagne producers, Nicolas Feuillatte was founded a little over 30 years ago and is, perhaps, the most recently established Champagne house in France. Despite their relative youth in the Champagne industry, they have had remarkable success in recent years, their brand winning no less than 46 medals in 2008 including 6 golds for their wines. The Nicolas Feuillatte non-vintage Brut Rose is an excellent example of their wine making art, itself having won medals at four shows during 2007. This champagne is a blend of 10% Chardonnay, 60% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier grapes, which come together to create its lovely character.

We had a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Rose Brut recently and it looks beautiful in the glass – a much more intense copper/pink colour than most rose wines, the seemingly unending stream of medium bubbles rise to the top of the glass, accentuating it’s colour. On the nose you get notes of strawberry, raspberry and redcurrant coming through, as you breathe in its bouquet and you feel the tingle of the bubbles bursting beneath your nose. On the palate, this Champagne has a good fruitiness, there is a big redcurrant flavour to it, with a background of strawberry and a good dry sharp acidity that has a hint of sweetness in its finish. It is a lovely wine just to drink on its own, as we did on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It was very refreshing and felt almost decadent drinking it like this, but who needs a reason to drink Champagne anyway?

On a more serious note, the Nicolas Feuillatte Rose Brut is a remarkably good aperitif, but it would be an excellent companion to some richer stronger tasting foods, as its sharpness would cut through them beautifully. It would undoubtedly go well with smoked salmon and goats’ cheese if you were serving either as a starter. Alternatively it would make a fine pairing with bold fruity desserts.

I don’t subscribe to the view that Champagne is a wine only for special occasions, although it is the natural choice for them, the French for example drink it regularly as an aperitif and with dessert, so why shouldn’t we? I am certainly sold on this one.

The Nicolas Feuillatte Rose is currently available in John Lewis shops nationwide, sold in a special Aspassio Haronitaki gift box at £28 for the bottle and £17 for the half bottle.

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