The Mailliard family has been the Champagne business in Vertus through four generations. The family winery was formally established in 1984 by Michel Mailliard. Michel and his son, Gregory, the third and fourth generations, currently manage the 23 hectare estate. Half the estate’s vineyards are located in Vertus (all 1er cru vineyards) and the majority of the estate is planted to Chardonnay.
MICHEL MAILLIARD Cuvee Gregory 1er Cru Brut, Champagne, NV ($49.99)
An all estate blend of 95% Chardonnay with 5% Pinot Noir all from 1er cru vineyards. Vinified (with no malo-lactic fermentation) and aged in stainless steel tanks for 8 months. After methode champenoise, it was aged for over 4 years on the yeast in bottle. Finished quite brut at 5.65 grams-per-liter of sugar. Green-straw in color and fully sparkling; dry, medium-bodied with fresh acidity and scant phenolics. Has some richness and depth but still offers vivid citrus fruit with ample mineral and just enough toast. There is texture and dimension here. Focused and delicious, more linear style of Champagne. BearScore: 93.
MICHEL MAILLIARD Cuvee Alexia Brut Rosé, Champagne, NV ($49.99)
An unusual 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+.