Our tasting impressions
In our estimation this is an elite Champagne. The very low dosage and absence of malolactic fermentation produces splendid, tangy acidity and freshness. Yet the wine is richly textured and creamy. It has a fine, delicate mousse. A gorgeous drink presently but we expect the best is yet to come for quite some time.
About this wine
From varied 50+ year old 1er Cru vines in Ecueil as well as Grand Cru vines in Bouzy all in clay and limestone, south-facing and mid-slope. This 100% Chardonnay special cuvée is produced only in the finest vintages.
Grapes are slowly and gently pressed using gravity-flow techniques. Vinification is in wooden vats and with regular battonage and there is no malolactic fermentation. Long aging also takes place in wooden vats. Bottled with no filtration, disgorged November 2017. Dosage : 0 g/L - also known as Brut Zero or Brut Nature.
About the grape
Chardonnay is the most popular wine variety in the world - and in the US. Winemakers love the green-skinned grape as well because it’s so easy to grow and adaptive to many different production techniques. Grown everywhere, Chardonnay’s greatest expressions are widely believed to come from Burgundy. Indeed, this is believed to be where the grape originated. Chablis, in Northern Burgundy and Champagne also offer superlative examples of Chardonnay.
About the vintage
2011, a wild and crazy vintage, presented some of the most erratic weather in modern history and resulted in some very uneven grape ripening. Fortunately, as it relates to this cuvée, Chardonnay generally fared best; and diligent growers (like those in the VDLT portfolio) were able to produce excellent wines.
On your table…
A Champagne worthy of grand cuisine. Steamed lobster has the body and richness to pair well but please serve it out of the shell so as not to distract from this beautiful wine. Drink at 50-55 degrees.
The Maillart Family has been farming grapes in the village of Montagne de Reims since at least 1753, though there is evidence that they may have been associated with these vineyards 200 years prior.
Nicolas (9th generation) has been in charge since 2003. He is deeply committed to sustainable farming. Maillart is one of the first Champagne estates labeled both HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale or High Environmental Value in English) and sustainable viticulture. His installation of photovoltaic panels resulted in energy production almost equaling their usage.
The 8.5-hectare estate of only 1er and Grand Cru vineyards in Bouzy, Ecueil and Villers-Allerand are planted to 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. All of their plots are well-situated about halfway up their respective slopes.
In the cellar, fermentation and maturation can occur either in tank, barrel or both depending on the source. The result is a variety of styles for creating blends, as well as the option of producing a wine from a single, particularly impressive batch of grapes. Six different cuvées are produced.