We ❤️ Nicolas Maillart 

Generally, this club features two bottles every other month, with the exception of December, when we sometimes like to present one special bottle for the holidays. This month however,  a series of signs, circumstances, auguries, adumbrations, gentle epiphanies and outright reasons conspired to garland a single, specific concatenation of bubbles as our spring selection: Nicolas Maillart’s 2019 1er Cru Extra Brut Montchenot. 

So, one bottle for April;  a lovely Blanc de Noir, an outstanding vigneron and vintage pairing appropriate for all seasonal occasions - Passover, Mother’s Day, Graduation - between now and June (it really sings with food too), from a winemaker you’ll be hearing a lot more from.  

While Nicolas Maillart has clearly been one of Champagne’s brightest lights for some time, his wines were barely available in this country until quite recently. His family’s wine growing roots in the region go back to 1753, when his ancestors grew vines in the village of Chamery (although there is a document that suggests the tradition goes back even further, referring to a “measure of vines” in 1533 that was mapped out by Pierre Maillart, a surveyor working in Chamery for the Saint Nicaise abbey.) 

Today, the family owns vines in the Premier and Grand Cru villages of the Montagne de Reims, with cellars in the tiny hamlet of Écueil. This longue duree in the area has meant they were able to select and keep the best terroirs over the years. With many older, well-established vines that are mostly planted halfway up the hillsides, the vineyards are ideally located for producing excellent quality wines. In keeping with the region’s typicity, the Maillart vineyards contain a high proportion of Pinot Noir vines (75%) together with Chardonnay and the extremely rare (never tried it ourselves) Petit Meslier. 

Nicolas represents the 9th generation at the helm, having taken over in 2003 after completing studies in engineering and oenology. He controls, farms, and manages all of his vineyards himself, working all of his soils. In the winery, Nicolas believes the key to great wines lies in paying particular attention to the first few hours of the winemaking process. He regularly monitors its progress by tasting and gears subsequent practices accordingly. Vinification and maturing are carried out either in vats or in the barrel depending on the source of the grapes. His reserve wines are also partly matured in barrels to increase their complexity. This gives Nicolas a wide variety of wines to choose from when blending, enabling him to make Champagnes of a consistent quality whilst also being able to set aside those that are highly original and particularly expressive. After laying down in the cellar for a long period, the wines are disgorged, followed by a further few months in the cellar before labeling and packaging.

Speaking of labeling: his passion for the environment led him to build 130 square meters of photovoltaic panels in 2009, which represent a production equivalent to 90% of their consumption, greatly reducing the carbon footprint. The domain is now labeled HVE (high environmental value) and sustainable viticulture, taking into account criteria such as biodiversity, pest strategy, and water management, making the family the first in Champagne to obtain this double certification.


PlumpJack Wine Team

Nicolas Maillart 2019 1er Cru Extra Brut ‘Montchenot’ 

From: Villers Allerand 

About the Winemaking: 100% Pinot Noir. This vintage comes only from the village of Villers Allerand, more specifically from Montchenot (the village of Nicolas' mother). Montchenot is a unique junction village between the small and large mountain, and shares the geology of the two regions (sand, clay and chalk). It is vinified in barrels and aged for one year on the lees, and another three years in bottles. 

Like all Nicolas Maillart bottlings, this wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation, is not filtered or fined and is very lightly sulphured (if at all). 

Assemblage/Vinification: Aged for 10 months in 228L oak barrels or 3000L foudre. 

Dosage: 1 g/l


Tasting Notes: “This Blanc de Noirs champagne will seduce you with the amplitude of its apple, mineral and wild berry aromas. In the mouth, it reveals a frank attack and a remarkable amplitude. “Very fine perfume of hawthorn, geranium, roses, walnut, cox orange, blood grape and rhubarb. Dense fresh and mineral pure taste.”  - Richard Juhlin 

Winemaker: Nicolas Maillart

Price per bottle / Price per case: $119.99/$1295.89

Suggested Food Pairing: Aged Comte and Beaufort cheeses, cured meats, Vegetable Tempura, Grilled Plank Salmon, Tuna Steak, Mushroom Risotto.

More stories

April 2024 Rosé Club

  Spain holds the rank of the third largest wine producer globally, following Italy and France. The country devotes a significant amount of land to...

April 2024 Wine of Month Club

Women Winemakers in Mendoza, Argentina      Situated in the eastern foothills of the Andes, Mendoza takes pride as the primary wine region in Argen...