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Now, I was lucky enough to taste all three of these with the Mofo Buyers and the Wine Dealer team recently. (We even had some new recruits at the Tasting Bench – boy oh boy, are their expectations of daily tastings gonna be high!). If you want some serious grower Champagne alternatives to the vinous and complex delights of Krug, you’ve found your wines. If you want to celebrate all that is special of the tiny Champagne houses and those who reach incredible heights of quality, buy these. If you want to celebrate like there’s no tomorrow, on a Champagne budget that still allows you a long, bright future, you’re in the right place. Who said you can’t have fancy Champagne and afford cake, too? No mofo, that’s who.

“My favourite tasting of the year. Some of the best Champagne I’ve had under $100, if not the best.” - Ange, Mofo Wine Dealer.

Sparkling
Sparkling White
Champagne

Nicolas Maillart Chaillots Gillis 1er Cru Champagne Sparkling White 2012
Lemon
Minerally
Toast
Light-bodied
Bright
Concentrated

Nicolas (Maillart) charmingly described this as being, “Wine of Champagne, before being Champagne.” I really like that, and it sums it up elegantly. It’s not about the brand, the style or the connotations. It’s first and foremost a reflection of a place in France, a little village northeast of Paris where some grapes where grown and a beautiful wine was made. It’s bone dry, allowing all the clean minerality of the terroir to shine through, next to toasty complexity from the maturation. It’s fresh and intense, bracing and awakening - perfect to get the party started. It’ll mature in the cellar for ages yet, and it’s a great wine to have in your back pocket. You never know when the occasion will call for bubbles. And when it does, why not drink incredible wine, and not just a brand name?

You'd pay $200.00 full price

Sparkling
Champagne
Champagne

Nicolas Maillart Mont Martin 1er Cru 2016
Allspice
Toast
Citrus
Medium-bodied
Chalky
Concentrated

As our esteemed buyer, Ben, says, “You don’t approach these as you would your average Champagne; you approach them like a red wine.” Indeed, this wine is powerfully red-berried, big and textural with Fuji apple and mushroom adding superlative piquancy and plunging depths. It’s a strapping style of Champagne – big, chalky and textural, but full of chocolatey, fruit-forward character. This is tamed by finesse and tapering acidity, living long in the mouth without the rusticity normally associated with meunier. Scrumptious. And considering the amount of pure meunier Champagnes I’ve tried, I’d have to say that this is the best one ever.

You'd pay $160.00 full price

Sparkling
Champagne
Champagne

Nicolas Maillart les Loges 1er Cru
Allspice
Minerally
Citrus
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
Richard Juhlin
French Import

100% pinot noir from a 1er Cru vineyard in Villers Allerand that is in the process of receiving its organic certification. Nicolas' unique approach of barrel ageing the pinot for 10 months on lees is what really sets it apart. It comes across as an almost chewy wine, more of meal than a drink. As famed wine critic Richard Juhlin stated, 'there are also hints of papaya, aroma apples, blood grape, geranium and a chewable chalk. Wow!!!'

You'd pay $150.00 full price