Champagne Nicolas Maillart Premier Cru Mont Matin 2015

2015
Champagne
Champagne Nicolas Maillart
$57.00

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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

A wine that is both joyful and distinct. No question that you are drinking Champagne but the uncommonness of unblended Meunier makes this stand out. The nose is quite floral. The palate offers bright, delicious fruit balanced by salty savoriness. The mousse, which had seemed crunchy when younger, now is quite supple.  It has improved tremendously over the course of the year and I expect that trend to continue for at least a few more. Pinot Meunier wines are not usually long-term propositions, but this one is more serious and sophisticated than most, plus it is oak-aged.  Enjoy sooner for the pure fruit but I will be interested to see how these develop.

 

About this wine

The first time Nicolas has made this from 100% Pinot Meunier from a single 1er Cru 1.8 ha plot called Villers Allerand in the Marne Valley. The vines, planted in marl and limestone from the Thanetien period, have an average age of 46 years. They are managed biologically, bio-dynamically and classically as necessary - all with respect for the the rhythm of the plants.

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 without filtration. Dosage : 0g/L. 15,000 bottles produced.

 

About the grape

PInot Meunier also know as Meunier is the least known of the Champagne grapes despite being the second most planted. It is mostly used for blending with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - adding bright fruit. It is dark-skinned and related to Pinot Noir. It ripens early and tolerates cooler climates so it is a dependable crop in tough vintages. 

 

 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. An outstanding vintage.

 

On your table…

Something with a little meatiness would be good with this wine. Perhaps chicken thighs or a duck breast with a fruited sauce. 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.