1996 Mailly Grand Cru Champagne La Terre

Mailly is a cooperative located in the village with the same name. The village is grand cru, and the cooperative members sit on the best vineyards. Area under vine for Mailly is 89% Pinot noir, 7% Chardonnay and 4% Pinot meunier, so if you are into Pinot champagnes, this is not a bad choice. The Mailly cooperative has a terrific Blanc de Noirs standard cuvée which is recommended should you get your hands on one.

The 1996 La Terre is lovely. 75% Pinot noir and 25% Chardonnay. The color is golden and the smell is intense, as could be expected from a Champagne from the mighty vintage of 1996. 1996 is generally regarded as the best vintage in a very long time, only dwarfed by the vintage of 1990 since 1985 (or 1982 according to some). The wine smells of apples, minerals, brioche and almonds. I had it yesterday with my wife as an aperitif and thought it was good then. This evening, we had it with chicken stuffed with chevré and chorizo. As accompaniment we had stir-fried noodles with sugarsnaps, shallot and garlic. This was a truly perfect companion. Not to say that this particular dish set off the wine better than any other choice, but I do believe this Champagne should be enjoyed with food rather than be used as aperitif. That is my general opinion for most Pinot Champagnes.

Mailly La Terre

The wine tastes of apples, minerals, mushrooms, bread. Fantastic structure and balance. Very mouth-filling with a long and nice aftertaste. Nice acidity. This has certainly not passed its best-before date. I bought a couple of bottles at Systembolaget many years ago. You are not very likely to get your hands on this one, unless possibly on site. Unfortunately, that is the case for most 1996s (unless you are willing to pay obscene money). This is truly a collector’s vintage. 92p.

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