Nicolas Maillart 'Franc de pied' Brut Nature 2012

An exceptional 100% Pinot noir champagne from rare and ungrafted vines, Franc de pied expresses its esteemed terroir with great purity—complex and elegant, yet not overpowering—simply irresistible.


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Nicolas Maillart 'Franc de pied' Brut Nature 2012



A very special release, Franc de pied translates to ‘free of foot’ and is the term for vines that survived the parasitic attack of phylloxera in the 19th century. They are therefore not grafted onto American rootstock and show great similarity to the same pre-phylloxera varieties, making Franc de pied a rarity in Champagne, and indeed, many parts of the world.

This Blanc de Noirs, from 100% Pinot noir, originates from ungrafted vines planted in 1973 by Nicolas’s father on a lieu-dit (single parcel of vines) named Les Coupes in the Premier Cru village of Écueil. The soil is sandy and therefore difficult for phylloxera to thrive in.

Les Coupes is south-facing, producing ripe grapes that undergo a slow and gentle pressing before vinification in oak without malolactic fermentation. No filtration takes place, and this wine was disgorged by hand with zero dosage in May 2017. Made only in the best years, Franc de pied is produced in limited quantity with just 3651 bottles from the 2012 vintage.


A golden glow tinged with orange hues and a delicate bead captivates attention at the first pour. With time, the bouquet evolves into strawberries and cream as the cuvée eases on the palate, gorgeously balanced and broad: fresh, tense citrus upfront, followed by baked apple and cherry densely layered over tropical fruit and spice. A persistent acidity bristling with saline minerality drives the long and elegant finish, culminating in a deeply finessed and unforgettable experience.

Glass match

Best enjoyed from the Lehmann Jamesse Prestige, Synergie 75 glass.

Food match

Delicious with umami-rich dishes such as a mouth-watering French Dip sandwich au jus—slow-cooked beef, tender and thinly sliced, topped with melted Provolone cheese in a buttered baguette, then generously dipped into a savoury beef broth.

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