Friday, April 16, 2010

The Friday Lineup™

A weekly commentary on selected wines tasted. All wines are sampled pristine and with food.


Wine of the Week:

NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut RosĂ© ($45). This is one of the most satisfying Champagnes you can drink and not spend a fortune. It can be described in a very few words – rich, ripe fruit that envelopes the whole palate and is accentuated by dried strawberry flavors and a lengthy finish. I enjoyed sipping it before dinner, and I enjoyed pairing it with a green salad with chicken.

Back Story I:

I’ve always enjoyed the NF line (never pass up a chance to drink Palmes d’Or), so I had a great timing chatting with cellar master Jean-Pierre Vincent about the various Feuillatte cuvees during an interview in New York earlier this week at A Voce at Columbus Circle. After the interview, Jean-Pierre made a tasting presentation for media and trade of six still wines from eight villages – two each of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. I had to leave before the lunch, and rumor had it that I, indeed, probably passed up an opportunity to drink Palmes d’Or.

Back Story II:

You’ll notice the glass in the picture is not a Champagne flute but a white wine glass, what Georg Riedel would call a “wine-friendly glass” as opposed to a “varietal specific” glass. The day after the Nicolas Feuillatte tasting, I had the opportunity to do an in-depth interview with Riedel on a Lear 35 flight from Teterboro to Ohio, where he gave a sold-out tasting workshop to winemakers from the Eastern United States in convention at Geneva on the Lake. No matter how much you know about wine, it is always fascinating to hear Riedel’s ideas about how shapes of wine glasses affect the tastes of wine. “We don’t make wines,” he’s fond of saying, “we make tools for drinking wines.” And another: “Winemakers use chemistry. We use physics.” Which brings us to the glass. Having finally abandoned the coupe, many drinkers still love the Champagne flute because of its presentation of the bubbles. Pretty, but you can’t really appreciate the aromatics or tastes of a fine Champagne in a flute the way you can in a wine glass. And taste trumps esthetics.


Until next time...


Roger Morris