About this WINE
Mailly is one of the great Grand Cru villages in the Montagne De Reims. With a membership of 70 growers, the village's eponymous co-operative is one of the most dynamic in the region.
Founded in 1929, Champagne Mailly produces only Grand Cru Champagne from its 70 hectares of vineyards, using just Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. These are harvested from more than 400 parcels, providing harmonious and steadfast blends. With a potential output of 500,000 bottles each year, Mailly exports 50% of its production.
One has only to visit its splendid seven-story gravity-fed installation to realise that this is a rather special organisation, the quality of its wines matched only be the peerless efficiency of its management. With a gifted winemaker in Hervé Dantan, Mailly are able to exploit the full potential of these top-graded vines and to produce a rich, Pinot Noir dominated Champagne.
The qualitative imperative results in extended lees ageing and then a further period of maturation before shipping. The resulting wine is all that Berry's UKC Brut should be; rich, rounded, with enticing aromatics and real authority on the finish.
The Blanc de Noirs is made from 100% Pinot Noir from the best parcels of vines, such as les Crayats, les Coutures, and les Chalois. The dosage is 8g/litre. L'Intemporelle is a deluxe cuvée and a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay with a dosage of 8g/litre.
Rosé wines are produced by leaving the juice of red grapes to macerate on their skins for a brief time to extract pigments (natural colourings). However, Rosé Champagne is notable in that it is produced by the addition of a small percentage of red wine – usually Pinot Noir from the village of Bouzy – during blending.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.