With annual sales of around 11m bottles, the Feuillatte deal marks a significant increase in scale for Castelnau, which tends to work with small- or medium-sized wineries.
Feuillatte is the biggest champagne in France, and the third biggest globally, after Moet et Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.
‘It’s a surprise to people when they find out how big it is,’ said Keith Isaac MW, MD of Castelnau Wine Agencies.
Isaac told Imbibe that the plan was to target premium pouring brand slots in brasseries, bars and group accounts.
‘You can spend too long chasing prestige outlets with 50 champagnes. We’re looking for places where there is real volume to be had,’ he said.
Castelnau already has one eponymous champagne in its portfolio – but Isaac remains hopeful that there will be no cannibalisation of existing sales.
‘Stylistically, Castelnau is different,’ he said. ‘It’s older, with more lees ageing and a higher percentage of Chardonnay in the blend; Nicolas Feuillatte is younger and fresher. We are very happy that the two can sit side by side.’
Prices start from £21.66 ex-VAT for the NV, £24.99 for the rosé and vintage blanc de blancs and £59.16 for the Palme d’Or prestige cuvée.