Champagne Nicolas Maillart Les Francs de Pied Premier Cru 2012

2012
Champagne
Champagne Nicolas Maillart
$108.00

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****Supplies limited. Minimum purchase 6 bottles mix and match with other direct wines from this region only. Purchases must be in multiples of 6. Ships directly from winery to you in about 2 weeks from order at rate of $8/btl on 6, $6/btl on at least 12. Must be ordered separately from wines not on Direct. Available only to VDLT members.****

 

Our tasting impressions

The aroma alone is life-altering. It is soooo deep and sensuous. The taste can’t possibly compare - Wrong!! The mousse is soft and elegant, caressing your taste buds. Incredible depth and width of flavors that are hard to parse because there is a completeness to the taste. You know I try to discourage Champagne as a special occasion drink but, all things considered, how can this not be. A magnificent drink but if you like mature Champagne, this will amply reward long-term cellaring.

 

About this wine

Francs de Pied is the term for vines with the original French root stock. This is a rarity as most of the roots were wiped out in the phylloxera epidemic in mid 19th century. Most European vines are grafted onto phylloxera-resistant American roots. Francs de Pied wines always seem to have greater depth and complexity.

 

About 3,000 bottles produced only in top vintages, this is 100% Pinot Noir from a single premier Cru plot in Ecueil, planted in 1973. The Southeast facing, sandy soil vineyard is Selection Massale managed with a combination of Biodynamic and conventional farming as needed. Respect is shown for the rhythm of the plants.

 

Slow, gentle pressing of the grapes using gravity flow techniques. This wine is vinified exclusively in wooden vats and with regular battonage. This Champagne has had a long maturation on the lees in oak and no filtration took place before the bottling. Disgorged by hand and laid down at least three months before sale. Dosage: 0 g/L

 

About the grape

Pinot Noir is an ancient grape from eastern France. Notoriously challenging, it thrives in cooler climates.  It is one of only two red grapes permitted in Champagne. Champagne from Pinot Noir tends to be richer and fuller and, some would argue, more elegant.

 

 About the vintage

2012 is an outstanding vintage in Champagne. Early frost and hail reduced the crop resulting in very healthy but concentrated grapes. The rest of the growing season was pristine so ripeness and acidity were in fine balance.

 

On your table…

This masterpiece deserves full spotlight. I recommend serving it with a darker artisanal bread with best-quality butter and sea salt.  Drink at 50-55 degrees.  

Champagne Nicolas Maillart

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.