The Mailliard family has lived in Vertus in Champagne’s Cote de Blancs for four generations. The Mailliard family’s roots in the Champagne trade were established by Alexis Mailliard, who played a key role in the region developing and promoting smaller producers in Vertus. The family winery was founded in 1984 by Michel Mailliard. Today, Michel and his son, Gregory, the third and fourth generations, currently manage the 23 hectare estate. Half the vineyards are located in Vertus (all 1er Cru vineyards) and the majority of the estate is planted to Chardonnay.
MICHEL MAILLIARD Cuvee Alexia Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV ($49.99)
An unusual estate-bottled blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir (all which is red wine). Vinifcation and aging for 8 months in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation. Aged 4 years en tirage (on the yeasts). Finished true Brut with a 7g/l dosage (0.7%). Deep salmon-pink color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-light-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Riper darker rosé with lots of red fruit. The 10% red wine in the blend gives it a strong red fruit character but the 90% Chardonnay keeps it elegant (with a citrus balance) and keeps it from any heaviness. It is toasty-yeasty and mineral but the driving force is the tension between the red fruit character and its Chardonnay elegance. Ultimate food Champagne. BearScore: 92+.