Our tasting impressions
How do I convey how fun and refreshing this bubbly is without leading you to think it is not a seriously fine wine? The color surprised me at first - it's something between golden and amber. Oh so Pinot on the nose! It's lively, zesty and perky. I guess that can happen when you don't add sulfites. But this is a very stable and conventional wine rather than an oddball natural one. Tasting this kept reminding me of when you peel the first piece of rind off a citrus fruit and there is a puff of dust. It's something between zest and fruit and it's everything delicious.
About this wine
The maiden vintage of this 100% Pinot Noir (selection Massale) Premier Cru from Villers Allerand. The vines, planted in clay and chalk soil originating in the Thanetian period. They are managed biologically, bio-dynamically and classically as necessary - with respect for the rhythm of the plants.
Grapes, mostly from 2018 were slowly and gently pressed using gravity-flow techniques. Vinification was with spontaneous fermentation in new French oak and with regular battonage. No malolactic fermentation and no sulfites were added. Aging takes place on the lees for 9 months. Zero Dosage. Disgorged 10/2020.
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.
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.