Welcome to The Bubbleista’s New “Fizz Friday” Series!

Fizz Friday Main Image (2)

Welcome to “Fizz Friday,” a new post series focused on the fizzy goodness you and I both love: champagne and sparkling wine.

Beginning today, and most Fridays thereafter, I plan to focus posts on my champagne and sparkling wines discoveries and tasting notes; champagne cocktail recipes {both my original concoctions and some I’ve discovered}; interesting tidbits in the world of bubbly; and perhaps I’ll even occasionally share some of my fave spots to sip.

For the inaugural edition of #FizzFriday I’m transporting you directly to France–well, at least mentally–for a recap of a unique tasting where I was able to drink almost the entire portfolio of Champagne house Mailly Grand Cru {/My-ii Groh Khrew/}.

Let the tasting begin. {photo credit Davon D. E. Hatchett}

Let the tasting begin. {photo credit Davon D. E. Hatchett}

Mailly Grand Cru is pretty unique for quite a few reasons. First,  it’s what’s known as a champagne cooperative, also known as Coopérative-Manipulant, where a co-op of growers contribute the harvest of their collective vineyards to sell under one or more champagne brands. It’s a particularly awesome concept in the case of Mailly Grand Cru because it is a mono-cru cooperative meaning that all of the cooperative members contribute only to the Mailly brand. What even more interesting is that cooperative members are all families who have been harvesting their individual plots of land for generations.

A second interesting fact about Mailly Grand Cru is that it’s not just the name of the cooperative brand, it is also actually the name of the village in the Champagne region of France–the village in which the cooperative is based and where its grapes are harvested. This means that the champagne they make is an expression of the unique terroir of this one particular village, which is unlike some other champagne brands and house who get their grapes from several different villages.

Third, Mailly’s champagne is also unique in that it is made with mostly Pinot Noir. A majority of  champagnes are traditionally made primarily with chardonnay grapes, but most of Mailly Grand Cru’s champagnes are made with 60-90% Pinot Noir.

Now let’s get down to the tasting of these wonderful sparklers. The Mailly Grand Cru portfolio consists of these champagnes:

The majority of the Champagne Mailly Grand Cru portfolio chilled and waiting to be sipped. And isn't the hue of the rose absolutely gorgeous? {photo credit © Davon D. E. Hatchett}

The majority of the Champagne Mailly Grand Cru portfolio chilled and waiting to be sipped. And isn’t the hue of the rose absolutely gorgeous? {photo credit © Davon D. E. Hatchett}

  • Grand Cru Brut Reserve
  • Brut Rose
  • Extra Brut
  • Brut Millesime 2009
  • Blanc de Noirs
  • Delice
  • Exception Blanche 2000
  • L’Intemporelle 2007
  • L’Intemporelle Rose
  • Les Eschansons 2004

Of the 10 portfolio offerings, I was able to try all but the Blanc de Noirs; the Delice; and the L’Intemporelle Rose {hey there Mailly Grand Cru, if you’d like to send me a bottle of these 3 I’ll be happy to review them, too..hint, hint…}. What I’ve decided to do in this post is give tasting notes on 3 of the 7 champagnes I tried. If you’re interested in getting the tasting notes for the other 4, then follow The Bubbleista on Instagram for #TheBubbsInstaWineReview where I give mini reviews and tasting notes. Without further ado, on with the reviews!


Mailly reserve rose les echansons

Mailly Grand Cru Brut Réserve {$40}

The aroma of the wine was pleasant with abundant fresh, crisp fruity notes of green apple, citrus {lime}, and a bit of a floral note. The apple and citrus was mirrored on the palate with flavors of toast and a touch of minerality. The finish faded pretty quickly and didn’t last as long as I would have like, but overall this is a solid bubbly.

It wasn’t exactly my favorite of the bunch, but I would drink it again without hesitation.

Mailly Brut Rosé Grand Cru {$50}

If you don’t already know, I’m most definitely a rosé lover, especially when it comes to sparkling rosés. In case you need proof, check out what I think here where I wax poetically about why I’d rather have rosés over roses. For me, bottles usually trump blooms!

But back to the Mailly! This was such a lovely and delightful rosé to drink. Oh and the color! A beautiful salmony-pink hue that makes the wine pleasing even before that first sip. Then there was the nose of the wine–so bright and fruity! Raspberries and strawberries jump from the glass as well as some rich nutty, toastiness. The flavor profile includes ripe red berries and the bright sweetness of red currants. This is a very Pinot driven wine, made with 90% Pinot Noir.

The other thing to note about the Mailly Rosé is that is it made with the technique known as “saignée” which mean the juice comes in brief contact with the red grape skins before being bled off rather than simply just adding red wine to white wine the way many other rosé champagnes are created. The arguable belief is that the saignée method creates a superior rosé. It’s my mission to settle the argument by drinking a lot of rosés and deciding for myself {wink}.

In any case, this rosé will be most assuredly be added to my bubbly stash.

Mailly Les Échansons Grand Cru 2004 {$150}

Regarded as “the crown jewel” in the Champagne Mailly portfolio, this top of the portfolio sparkler warrants its price tag. In fact, Wine Enthusiast rated it as one of its Top 46 Champagnes and Sparkling Wines in 2014.

The Les Échansons is a full, robust, refined wine. The first sip revealed excellent, steely minerality–and I could almost swear I tasted a fresh, bready croissant too! It has a wonderful creamy mousse and flavors of apple and citrus. It was such a rich and beautiful bubbly that I would happily drink again and again and again! Worth the price.

Oh, and for you stogie lovers, Xavier Millard, Champagne Mailly Grand Cru’s Directeur of Commercial Export, mentioned that this is the Les Échansons pairs perfectly with a good quality cigar. What more can you ask for from your champagne?

Xavier Millard holding a bottle of Les Enchansons which pairs well with a good stogie. {photo credit © Davon D. E. Hatchett}

Xavier Millard holding a bottle of Les Enchansons which pairs well with a good stogie. {photo credit © Davon D. E. Hatchett}

I hope you’ve enjoyed this 1st Edition of “Fizz Friday,” and I hope you make it a fab Friday as well by sipping some fizz this weekend. Cheers!