Our tasting impressions
The pure, vibrant fruit is certainly Pinot Noir but the touch of Meunier adds pleasing verve and zest. This welcome addition to the Maillart stable clearly displays Nicolas' talent for understanding different grapes, terroir and vintages to craft delicious and provocative wines that are distinct from other producers as well as each other.
About this wine
A Blanc de Noirs blending 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Meunier Premier Cru from the hamlet of Montchenot in Villers Allerand, home of Nicolas' mother . The vineyard lies between and picks up elements from a large and a small mountain. The soil is sand, clay and chalk. They are managed biologically, bio-dynamically and classically as necessary - with respect for the rhythm of the plants.
Grapes - 80% from 2016 and 20% from 2015 reserves - are slowly and gently pressed using gravity-flow techniques. Vinification is with spontaneous fermentation in 50% new French oak, with regular battonage and no malolactic fermentation. Aging takes place on the lees for 6 months. Dosage: 4g/L. Disgorged 9/2020.
About the grape blend
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. 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.
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.