Region: Champagne, France
Grapes: Pinot Noir (67%), Chardonnay (26%), Meunier (7%)
First Glance: Dry, assertive, mineral, nutty
Acclaim: 95 points
Nicolas Maillart is one of the brightest shooting stars on the grower Champagne scene these days. Based in the small village of Ecueil in the central Montagne de Reims, the estate's vineyards are all Premier and Grand Cru classified. Although there is evidence of the family's involvement with vine growing going back more than 300 years, there is nothing old school going on here, or, for that matter, any resting on laurels.
Maillart ticks all the boxes of what one could expect from a top notch grower estate, on the forefront of the modern Champagne landscape. Sustainability is top priority, and the estate is certified both HVE (Haute Valeur Environnementale), as well as for sustainable viticultural practices. The approach to the cellar is like a checklist, of everything that moves in the region today. Many cuvees see some form of neutral oak elevage, dosages are low (if not omitted completely) and malolactic conversion is only applied if deemed necessary. Furthermore, a large part of the range is bottled as single vineyard, and often single variety expressions, to truly show the individual terroirs of the estate.
The calling card of the estate is the Platine NV, a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier. Dosed low at 3 g/l, malolactic fermentation completed, and raised part in steel, part in oak, this is one of the more immediately approachable wines of the estate.
95 points, Decanter, Grower Champagne Panel Tasting, 01 Mar 2017
Opulent and finessed.
SF: Fulsome colour and temperamentally big-boned , this is an impressive example. The six grams of residual sugar finely knit into a texture of ripe, red-berried fruit. The finish has an ethereal poise, brought down to earth by just a hint of spice.
TH: Immediately vital in the mouth. Very chewy and demanding, a serious champagne but pretty exciting. Citrus character but with complex fruit and a pretty lingering finish. I like this!