A new winery, built in 2003, has allowed Nicolas Maillart to make ongoing improvements by using gravity-flow techniques, temperature control and pneumatic pressing, among other things. Our new installations also mean we are better able to separate grapes picked from different terroirs. Each particular area can therefore be vinified to produce a maximum of substance.
Our efforts in the vat room are guided purely by tasting and do not comply with any hard and fast rules, which gives us the freedom to explore the unique aspects of each vintage and terroir. This approach also means that our wines are not necessarily subject to malolactic fermentation or refrigeration… Vinification and maturing are carried out in stainless steel or enamelled vats or in the barrel, depending on the specific properties of each terroir and vintage. Vat maturing is usually reserved for wines in which we wish to maintain a fruity or mineral character. Barrels are used for wines in which we wish to bring out intensity and power.
Reserve wines represent more than half a year’s harvest and are stored either in vats or barrels. Our reserve wines, generally from more than five vintages, enable us to ensure consistency in quality and in our house style in the most delicate years.
About 10% of our wines are made in barrels of different ages and sizes. We work with a number of coopers, although we are also developing local relations with the Tonnellerie de Champagne, which provide us with barrels with of a specific nature (be it the origin of the wood – from the Montagne de Reims and the Argonne area between Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine – or toasting of the barrels and volumes). Nicolas Maillart currently works with barrels the average age of which is almost six years. Using barrels enables us to work more precisely with the lees and to work on micro-oxygenation of the wine, thus developing different properties of the wine.
Following initial bottling, the wine is stored in the constant temperature of our cellars, where it undergoes its second fermentation and acquires its sparkle. Our stock represents three to four years of sales.
Our champagne is disgorged by hand on our own premises, in line with demand for sales. It is laid down for at least three months before leaving our estate.