Introducing Nicolas Maillart
by Dixon Brooke
It has been many years since we have introduced you to a new selection of ours from the Champagne region—not for lack of trying! Earlier this year we finally found what we have been looking for in the small Champagne village of Écueil, on the Montagne de Reims, in the cellars of Nicolas Maillart. Nicolas owns and farms vineyards in Écueil, Villers-Allerand, and Bouzy, all just south of Reims. These are among the world’s greatest terroirs for growing Champagne grapes, and they have been brilliantly matched chez Maillart to Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Petit Meslier in order to extract the best qualities of each grape for both his blended multi-vintage Champagnes and his single-vineyard-vintage bottlings. All of his Champagnes are fermented and aged in wood, minimally sulfured, and bottled unfiltered with very little dosage.
Nicolas has made wine at his family estate since 2003 and has had two decades to hone and perfect his house style. He controls, farms, and manages all of his vineyards himself, working all of his soils. His Champagnes are pure, elegant, terroir-transparent, stylish, and delicious! Tasting through his lineup of vins clairs is like tasting through a cellar of young wines in Burgundy, and he has figured out how to transform the magic he has in barrel into his resulting Champagnes that emerge years later. Nicolas Maillart is sure to be a household name in Champagne in the near future, and I know you will enjoy getting to know these as much as I have.
Very pale rosé color from the high percentage of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in the blend. Beautiful perfume of orange blossom, very fine with an incredibly soft mousse.
A blend of four vintages plus a solera, this Bouzy-dominant blend of Pinot Noir with 2% still red and 1 gram of dosage is bright, expressive, incisive, and chalky.
This pure Pinot Noir from Villers introduces the trio of Blanc de Noirs that form the foundation of Nicolas’s range of single-vineyard bottlings presented on this page. Planted on a base of chalk, this is a dry, focused Champagne with real class.
Pure Pinot Meunier from Villers, from massal-selection vines planted in the 1970s, this impressive bottling shows great freshness and finesse allied with smooth, silky roundness and completed with a long, chalky finish. Gorgeous Champagne.
Pure Pinot Noir from the grand cru of Bouzy, a great terroir that makes its presence felt with a more structured and serious Champagne, built to age. I strongly recommend buying some to drink now and some for the cellar.