Just before a wonderfully planned evening of Champagne and food pairing in Covent Garden I managed to spend ten minutes with Chef de Caves of Nicolas Feuillatte – Guillaume Roffiaen.
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is made from an incredible 4,500 growers in the region with a magnitude of expressive flavours along with 100,000 hectolitres of reserve wines – To be in charge of such an operation for me seems like the role of a conductor in charge of a record breaking orchestra (which currently stands at 8,076 musicians for your information).
The ability to know the wines, how they will perform in order to create an identity which is loved globally is a true master of the arts role – I decided to ask Guillaume some questions during what was a cold evening in London when heavy snowflakes were falling outside (English weather eh! I heard people say):
Many of our readers are new to the world of exploring Champagne – With this is mind, what for you defines a great Champagne?
The appearance of tiny and delicate bubbles and the clear visibility of the wine are always a great way to determine if a Champagne is going to be good or not. When you taste the Champagne it should be expressive though not overpowering, more delicate over aggressive with some bitterness though not too high that makes it a challenge to drink.
Does Nicolas Feuillatte make for a good label to choose if you are wanting to discover Champagne outside of basic supermarket options?
The fact that we produce a range for the trade and also concentrate on a range for consumers and we make these suitable for all occasions where people would require Champagne means that we are focused on offering Champagne that will satisfy many needs. We understand that there are different audiences for Champagne so we blend wines to suit different levels of wine experience as well as making sure that each of our wines can reveal something new and unique to the taster / drinker.
What for you is the ideal place to enjoy a glass of Champagne?
Champagne should be enjoyed of course and sometimes when you have time to sit back and enjoy the qualities of the wine in your glass is the best. Yes Champagne is known as a wine for many party / celebration occasions and this may mean drinking it quicker than normal, but for me to be with my friends at home, relaxed and sat around the table talking is the best way to enjoy for me the work that goes into making Nicolas Feuillatte.