Our tasting impressions
A great follow up to the sensational 2012. The 2015 seems a bit bigger and richer. This wine is remarkable for its depth, concentration and precision. It has lots of great stuff to offer current drinkers, but this really should be in the cellar until it can mature into the masterpiece it is destined to be.
About this wine
What was known as Franc de Pied, has been re-branded to include the vineyard name - Les Coupés. FDP 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. Franc de Pied wines always seem to have greater depth and complexity.
About 3,300 bottles were produced of this is 100% Pinot Noir from the 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 new oak with regular battonage. It undergoes spontaneous fermentation and stays on its lees for 9 months. There is no malolactic fermentation and no fining filtration prior to 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
The winter of 2015 was chilly and unstable. From April to mid-August the weather was consistently hot and dry. Cooler temps and rain in late August gave way to a gorgeous September. Acidity levels are low as expected from the heat but the grapes had remarkable balance. A consistently outstanding vintage.
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.