Before we lived in the Maconnais for a year, we had limited experience with the region — mostly high volume Macon Villages from negociants and the local cooperatives, like Macon-Lugny. But a tip from Anthony Hanson led us to a producer in Quintaine whose wine transformed our view of the region. We bought that wine for many years, but alas the producer had a national importer and we were confined to “private” purchases. So we decided to ask them for a recommendation — was there anyone they knew who made wine of their quality? They didn’t hesitate; they said that Nicolas Maillet in the village of Verze down the road was little known, but wouldn’t be for long. They were exactly right.
Maillet is a bear of a man — exuberant and intensely focused on his wines. (You can see Nicolas discussing his wine in the Burgundy Wine Bureau’s video about the region.) He farms organically and vinifies biodynamically, and the wines show their terroir beautifully. Months-long cool fermentations coax the pure fruit from the grapes, and the wines are vibrant.
We import two vat-raised white Burgundies from Maillet: a Macon Villages and Macon Verzé. We also buy his excellent Pouilly-Fuissé, which is raised in oak barrels. This wine is from a plot in Pouilly-Fuissé’s “Sur la Roche” vineyard — the same one from which the now-retired Michel Forest produced his best wines.