NV Nicolas Feuillatte, Cuve 225, Champagne, France (£39.99,Whole Foods Market, 020-7368 4500, www.wholefoodsmarket.com ).
This spellbinding Champagne takes its "Cuve 225" name from the capacity, in litres, of the traditional oak barrels in which it is fermented. Oak is rarely used in the production of Champagne outside of very expensive cuves and a few notable, ultra-top-end producers' wines Krug, Bollinger, Jacques Selosse and a few other renegades being the stars.
This wine is made from a straightforward blend of half Chardonnay and half Pinot Noir, but the inbuilt complexity in its aroma and flavour lies in the number of brilliant vineyards used to source the grapes. Vineyards in Verzenay, Bouzy, Louvois and A are used for the Pinots and Chouilly, Avize, Cuis and Cramant are where the Chardonnays are found.
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This complex recipe results in a layering of flavours in the wine and the oak barrels gently enhance and augment the characters of every parcel of fruit.
As you might expect, the finished wine is very much a haut-couture number, with about as much panache and lan as any Champagne I have tasted in the last few years. Feuillatte is back with a bang, or rather a pop; better still, a sigh.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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