Wine writing by Stas Medvedev

Mailly Champagne Grand Cru Magnum Collection

Champagne Mailly is counted by many as the best cooperative (RC) in Champagne.
A collection of 80 winegrowers, representing 25 different families, Mailly Grand Cru controls 485 parcels of vines spread over 70 hectares, all in the village of Mailly. Today, no other producer so strongly defines a winegrowing village in Champagne.

Mailly is a grand cru village on the northern side of the Montagne de Reims. North facing slopes produce fresh and elegant style of Pinot Noir.

This limited edition of late disgorged millesimes has a nice presentation. It comes in nice oak cases with individually numbered bottles. Monocru blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay. Extra low dosage (2,3–3,3 g/l) plays very well with extra long aging on lees (15–17 years).

All wines reveal the vintage character and express the house style — red berries driven, chalky mineral with northern cool elegance. Late disgorgement brings youthful freshness and expressive autolytic aromas.

2000 “Apogee” — Fresh and ripe with underlying minerality.
1999 “La Precision” — maturity restrained in a mineral expression. Only 501 magnums released.
1998 “La Generosite” — wine with good structure, but to me fell out of the range.
1996 “L’Intensite” — clear the winner of the night. It has everything you want from such great vintage. Tension, fruit concentration and perfect balance of acidity.

I chose a magnum of Taittinger Brut Reserve from the same era for the contrast. Served in the middle of the tasting it showed classic coffee & toffee character of matured champagne. Perfect condition thanks to magnum. I adore how such baseline champs of Grande Marques age. Generous dosage and 20 years of bottle age is all you need for Maillard reaction to do the magic.

Champagne Winemaker Terroir Tasting
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