Domaine Nicolas Maillet
Macon Villages AOC , Burgundy, France
Subtle nose with apple and citrus and mineral nuances which follows through to a crisp palate with hints of lemon and lime coming through to a wonderful long finish. A sublime Chardonnay white wine from Burgundy.
If you’ve ever harboured dreams of retiring with your own vineyard and lazing away amidst the vines, then a visit to Nicolas Maillet in Verzé is not advised as it may pop the bubble. Winemaking and vineyard care is damn hard work and nobody knows this better than our own Gavin Keogh.
Gavin spent a harvest with Nicolas a few years back and he still remembers the exhaustion he experienced after putting in massive 16 hour shifts at the grape press. Basket after basket of Nicolas’ organic grapes kept coming and by the time Nicolas invited Gavin to a local bar for a wind-down drink, he could barely hold the glass of beer.
Of course it’s not all so serious and Nicolas is a man you’d gladly share a drink with. Gregarious, welcoming and prone to dramatic gesticulations and expressions, he exemplifies winemaking as a way of life rather than a nine-to-five job. Everything here is done by hand and he even sorts the grapes twice; once in the vineyard and a second time in the winery. The grapes that don’t make the cut he sells to a local co-op as he doesn’t feel they are good enough for his estate.
A plus for many Chardonnay fans is that Nicolas is averse to using oak even going so far as to say, “I hate barrels generally. I want to taste the purity.” His organic approach extends to everything he does, eschewing chemicals in any instance. This is why he imports 100% natural Portuguese cork rather than using synthetic ones which are made with glue. A fantastic winemaker with seriously good wines.
"One of the most exciting areas for white wines is not Casablanca in Chile or Kampstal in Austria but Macon in southern Burgundy. Unfortunately, Macon is burned into the wine lover’s mind as a lean, citric wine, due to efforts of one small commune with a giant marketing arm. This extraordinarily luscious Macon Villages offering shows there is much more to this true home of Chardonnay. In a blind tasting, this could easily pass for a mild-mannered, angular Meursault."
"Macon has a mixed reputation in Ireland and is most associated with light, rather acidic wines from around the small village of Lugny. But beyond this, there are many styles of Macon Chardonnay - and this one is one of the rarest, a late harvested style which emphasises the luscious honey and apricot flavours that Chardonnay can produce. However, unlike a sweet or over-oaked style, there is no unctuousness here - the acidity completely counterbalances the opulence of the mid-palate. A superb wine."
"Maillet is a follower of the late harvest style, and this is a perfect introduction to the style at a great price. Plump, rich, lightly honeyed fruits cut through nicely by some tangerine zest. Probably not a wine to drink alone, but a perfect foil for chicken and pork dishes."
"Attractive, floral, bready and lifted bouquet, very good expression of Chardonnay. Good fruit, balance and Mâcon vineyard character. Long length; very well made."
Domaine Nicolas Maillet
Domaine Nicolas Maillet is located on the slopes of the small village of Verzé (Saône et Loire, France) in the heart of Mâconnais 60 km north of Lyon and 120 km south of Dijon. It belongs to the Maillet family for four generations. The wine was then elaborated in the cellars of the family property. In 1928 the production of the domain was brought to the cooperative cellar of the village until 1999 when production was again transformed to the family property.