Our tasting impressions
And the beat goes on with Maillart's flagship Blanc de Blancs. This has all the super qualities of the great 2012, but 2014 seems bigger and drier. In these early days, there is a more pronounced yeast flavor. Overall, another super effort for this wine that will age gracefully and beautifully.
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 takes place in oak barrels. Bottled with no filtration, disgorged with no added sugar. Dosage : 0 g/l - also known as Brut Zero or Brut Nature.
About the grape
Chardonnay is the most popular wine variety 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
2014 was a challenging vintage for most of Champagne but Chardonnay fared better than the norm. The spring was terrific but the summer was chilly and very wet. A return to fair weather in early fall, provided the opportunity for conscientious growers to produce some very good wine with ample ripeness.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl Mineralité
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.