Sébastien Moncuit, new comer
After 10 years at Château Malakoff managing a big production, 3 years spent in a laboratory counselling wine growers and merchants, Sébastien Moncuit, son and grandson of a Champagne wine grower, joined last year champagne Mailly Grand Cru, “a fantastic domain of pinot noirs that offers a huge scope of opportunities”!
Mailly Grand Cru represents 73 hectares planted by 3/4 with pinots noirs and 1/4 of chardonnay. “Our wine growers supply to champagne Mailly grapes of beautiful quality to make the Brut Réserve, symbol of the house”, and a full range of 9 cuvees focusing on pinot noir called Les Echansons, L’Intemporelle, Blanc de Noirs…
“What really interests me in this function, is the incredible policy to apply in the vineyard and the terroir to pursue the work of precision implemented by my predecessor. Admittedly the range is fully coherent as all the grapes stem from the same terroir. But to make the vinification by plot more acute, I have to get to know the terroir. To succeed, fro 6 months, I have been identifying and registering 730 plots, shared out over 35 localities. For each of them I have to know the history, the farming method, the actions, but also their specific exposure. Like in Burgundy, I am going to define a kind of ‘climats’ that will provide a great diversity to the wines.
This work of by-plot knowledge will enable me to follow up the ripeness of the grapes and to precisely determine the date of harvest. But also to craft cuvees with all the necessary information and to better understand their development. I have to keep informed about the upstream work to adapt the vinifications according to the year. For example, all Mailly wines, including the vintages undergo malolactic fermentation. If one year I get very ripe grapes and wines with a good structure, I can decide to block this last fermentation on 10% of the cuvee to give extra freshness to the vintage.
We also carry out tests for organic vinifications with plots farmed according to this practice, and crafting without sulphur. The mastery of these techniques enable to meet the expectations of the customers and to know the impact on the expression of our wines.” This by-plot work is undertaken on a long term basis in order to get a sustainable viticulture certification with our wine growers; on the short term, to give extra pleasure to the wine lovers and bring a complexer expression for the connoisseurs.
For the end of the year, Champagne Mailly Grand Cru proposes Magnum Collection, 4 vintages of the last centurty: 96, tonic, 97, delicate, 98, rich and 1999, precise, salty and lively after swirling. They are presented individually in an artisanal solid oak case, a beautiful idea to remeber for a gift to enter at Christmas in the universe of great champagnes!