A toast with Bruno Paillard Champagne (20110510)

Quoted from the introductory note:

Bruno Paillard was born in Reims in 1953 from an old family ofChampagne”vignerons” and brokeres, established in theChampagneregion for more than 3 centuries. He started himself as a Champagne broker in 1975 and does still continue this activity, although he has created his ownChampagnehouse in 1981.

The house of Bruno Paillard is the youngest and still one of the smallestChampagnehouses. It owns and runs a high quality vineyard spread over 28 hectares – of which 12 deserve the denomination “Grand Cru”. It produces around 550,000 bottles (45,000 cases) – over 75% are exported to all European countries.U.S.andJapan.

The house specializes in the production of M.V. luxury cuvees as well as in vintages. Wherever they are represented, the Champagnes Bruno Paillard are sold through traditional outlets, i.e. restaurants, specialist stores (“cavistes”), mail order clubs, etc… and never in supermarkets.

Bruno Paillard Champagnes are produced by the traditional method and from the best possible grapes in theChampagnearea under the personal supervision of the owner. The new premises – a temperature controlled glass and stell building – just outside Reims, on the road toEpernay, are modern, efficient and dedicated to quality.

He says: “Je signe lesChampagnesrares” (I sign the rareChampagnes), and for himChampagneis above all: elegance.

The Bruno Paillard range offers 3 multi-vintageChampagnes, plus several vintages some of which are now very rare. They are all “BRUT”. (The house does not produce a Sec or Demi-Sec) and the dosage is kept as low as possible in order to respect the authenticity of the wines.

Furthermore, each and every bottle carries the date of its “degorgement”, information which the house of Bruno Paillard was the first one to give on all its wines.

End of quoted.

N.V. Bruno Paillard Chardonnay Champagne Blanc de Blancs Réserve Privée – France, Champagne

Produced exclusively from the first pressing of Chardonnay, it is a rare Champagne with citrus, toast and almond aromas, so typical of this grape variety. The grapes come from the famous “Côte des Blancs”, i.e entirely from grands crus villages rated 100%. The delicacy of the bubbles is due to a very old bottle fermentation technique less powerful than for a classical Champagne. It is kept for 4 years on the lees before disgorging.

  • To the eye: This wine has a pale gold colour with green tinges, very fine bubbles and a light velvety foam.
  • On the nose: The aromas are those of citrus fruit such as lemon and grapefruit, with touches of white flower. When it opens, it smells like grilled almond and crusty bread.
  • On the palate: There is a wonderfully complex sensation. It first evokes citrus fruit, then white pulp fruit. This wine is definitely made in an aperitif style, and can also accompany sea food and fish.

My Note :: 

  • Alcohol :: 12%, Degorge – Oct-2007. Dosage: 5g/liter. Aged on lees for 4yrs and rest for 10 months for post Degorgement recovery before release to the market.
    Light golden in color with more vigorous beads that display expressive aromas of light yeastiness, salted mineral, fresh white bread and green apple, lime, almond and there is elegance in the aromatic profile. Still very young with all fresh, but high acidity that resulted in quite sharp entry and mouth feel, austere too. Short finished with earth, bitter, dry herb and mineral after taste. The fruits were missing at this stage, perhaps in a dumb phase.

N.V. Bruno Paillard Champagne Brut Premiere Cuvée – France, Champagne, Montagne de Reims, Champagne

Exclusive use of wine from the first pressing, the purest. A selection of 32 villages vinified separately ‐ stainless steel or barrel ‐ offering a choice that allows the composition of a judicious blend, consistent through the years. ‐ subtle balance of grapes in the blend : 22 % Pinot Meunier, 33 % Chardonnay and 45 % Pinot Noir. Systematic use of “reserve” wines, set aside in previous vintages: minimum 20 % and up to 45 % if needed. ‐ long ageing of the wine in bottle on the lees: 3 years or more at least the double of the legally required minimum period. ‐ extra maturation for a minimum of 3 months in the cellar after disgorgement, the date of which is written on the back label.

  • To the eye: bright straw gold colour, revealing the exclusive use of the first pressing and the large percentage of Chardonnay. Vivid “perlage” with very delicate bubbles.  
  • On the nose: fresh and fruity, initial aromas of citrus fruits so typical of Chardonnay: lime and grapefruit. Then aromas of red fruits: redcurrant, raspberry, Morello cherry, typical of Pinot Noir. Finally smooth aromas of candied, even exotic fruits coming from the Pinot Meunier.  
  • On the palate: vivacious on the attack thanks to a low dosage respecting the authenticity of the wine. A chalky minerality. Initial flavours of citrus fruit, almond, toast… but also redcurrant jelly, cherry, fig or blackberry. Complete without being heavy, with a long, clear finish.

My note ::

  • Alcohol :: 12%, Degorge: Jun-2010. Dosage: 6g/liter. Aged on lees for 3yrs and rest for 5 months for post Degorgement recovery before release to the market.
    Light dark golden color with fine beads that’s not so vigorous. Austere and less expressive on the nose, with earthy tone and underlying white fruits and mineral along with just a hint of nuttiness. The entry is a bit sharp and similar to the nose, austere. The salted mineral dominated the flavor profile hence the savory taste with white citrus fruits that move on to the pure, light clean finish. Easy going and refreshing. Lay down for another 1-2yrs and the wine should come out from the shell.

N.V. Bruno Paillard Champagne Rosé Brut Première Cuvée – France, Champagne

Mainly made of Pinot Noir with a touch of Chardonnay, the Brut Rosé Première Cuvée is produced exclusively from the first pressing. Pinot Noir is pressed rapidly, with juice and skins separated immediately to obtain a clear white wine, which is then blended with the juice of some Pinot Noir vinified as light red by leaving the black skins on the juice. It’s the subtle blending of these 2 types of vinification which gives it its special tint and unique fruity flavour. As with all Bruno Paillard Champagnes, the “dosage” is very low to produce an authentic brut wine. 

  • To the eye, our Rosé, presented in clear bottles shows its delicate hue: a light copper‐gold colour when it is young, growing salmon‐pink when mature.
  • On the nose, the first aromas are of redcurrant, fresh red fruit, tending towards Morello cherry, strawberry and violet. A light citrus touch denotes the discreet presence of Chardonnay. Maturity brings aromas of black fruit like black cherry, blackberry or fig.
  • On the palate, it reveals a sensation of ripe red fruit seized in all its freshness, confirming the olfactory impression: refined and fresh, with an elegant, quite long and delicate finish.

My Note ::

  • Alcohol :: 12%, Degorge – May-2010. Dosage: 6g/liter. Aged on lees for 3yrs and rest for 5 months for post Degorgement recovery before release to the market.
    This copper gold Champagne display expressive, sweet blackberry aromas, strawberry with mineral and spices and just a hint of austerity. Similar sharp entry but quickly rounded up into creamy, savory mouth feel with good intensity and dense red cherry fruits and lime that complex with lightly bitter mandarin orange peel on the delicate, detail finish. Quite fine, pure and elegance.

1996 Bruno Paillard Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut – France, Champagne

Blanc de Blancs 1996 is made from a selection of Chardonnays grapes that come from the grand cru vineyards of Oger and Le Mesnil‐sur‐Oger. As always with Bruno Paillard wines, only the first pressing ‐ the purest ‐ has been used. As with all great white wines, it should not be served overly chilled but between 9 to 10°C. Use a large tulip shaped glass.

  • To the eye: Deep golden colour with green tinges. Very fine bubbles.
  • On the nose: Light “reduction” at first, notes of iodine ‐ almost salty on opening. The opulence of candied citrus fruits comes through with aeration.
  • On the palate: Ample, unbelievable power and length on the palate, with a persistent freshness. Exceptional depth and chalky minerality.

My Note ::

  • Alcohol :: 12%, Degorge – Jan-2010. Dosage: 5g/liter. Took 16yrs to produce.
    Bright medium golden. I really like this wine, pure, complex with elegance and finesse. The complex aromas gently soar from the glass with smoke, earth, seashell, oyster shell, strong, solid mineral background that is almost toward metallic / iron sail alongside with red apple tone and fresh herb. First impression for the first sip, fresh! Rounded, precise with good purity of fruits that is elegance. Very rich and intense that stain the palate with depth. Though still pretty young, as expected from a 1996 BDB, this already show pretty harmonious and finesse, the finished is long and mineral drive, with strong persistence, tension and vivacity with lemon skin and sea salt aftertaste nuanced. Really like this. A buy.

1999 Bruno Paillard Champagne Assemblage Brut – France, Champagne

Made only in the best vintages, this cuvee is made from a selection of grapes from fourteen crus in theMarne. As always at Bruno Paillard, only the first pressing has been used. For the 1999 vintage, the proportion of grapes varieties that make up the blend is 29% Chardonnay, 42% Pinot Noir, and 29% Pinot Meunier. Since he established the house, Bruno Paillard has produced vintages with very different personalities that he has personally selected. In order to illustrate this diversity, he commissioned works from contemporary artists inspired by the wine in order to personalize each vintage with a compatible theme.

  • To the eye: Visually, the wine shows a deep gold colour animated by a very vivacious and fine effervescence: it is « tumultuous and flamboyant ».
  • On the nose: Aromas of ripe fruit to the fore, dominated by citrus notes. Then hints of red fruits ‐ raspberries / cherries… ‐ gently appear, and after a few minutes in the glass notes of honey develop and enhance the generous and warm personality of this great wine.
  • On the palate: When tasted, the first impression combines freshness and length. Fruit and spicy notes are well balanced, offering a « gourmand » impression. Freshness, ampleness, and length characterize this 1999 vintage.

My Note ::

  • Alcohol :: 12%, Degorge – May-2008. Dosage: 5g/liter. Took 11yrs to produce.
    Bright golden with fine beads but not much. Different from the 1996 BDB and more similar to the 1995 in style, this bright golden Champagne display expressive toasted and oxidative note -> honey and caramelize fruits intermixed with earth, metallic mineral and quite austere. This wine show good freshness too in spite of the oxidative style. Fullish and rounded mouth feel, a bit fleshy in the fresh and pure package, with savory salted mineral and spicy aftertaste on the almost explosive like finish. Indeed this is very good especially for the price, though I’m fond to the 1996 BDB for my personal preference. Already approachable but additional bottle aged will do this some good too.

1995 Bruno Paillard Champagne Nec Plus Ultra – France, Champagne

N.P.U. was been born from the desire to create the greatest Champagne possible. Waiting for an exceptional vintage, Bruno Paillard chose to make the first vintage in 1990. The grapes selected for N.P.U. were hand picked from five of the 100%‐rated villages distinguished by the coveted “Grand Cru” appellation: Cramant, Chouilly, Mesnil Sur Oger, Verzenay and Bouzy. As with all Bruno Paillard wines, only the first pressing was used, but an essential difference with the N.P.U. Cuvée is that the wine is fermented in small oak barrels, where it is rested for a further 9 months. During this period, each cru asserted its  complexity and gained those slightly oaky aromas that prevailed in Champagne wines long ago.

The tasting of such an outstanding wine is a great moment in itself. Ideally, it should be served at cellar temperature, possibly chilled in an ice bucket half filled with cool water to which a few ice cubes were added. It should not be left in the refrigerator or chilled solely on ice. It can be enjoyed on its own, as an aperitif, or accompany a whole meal, provided no spicy or sugary food is served. When arriving on the market, The N.P.U “Nec ‐ Plus ‐ Ultra” Cuvée 1995 will have required 10 years hard work to reach such a sublime result. To experience its richness, don’t sip it too quickly.

Observe it in the glass, listen to it and take the time to discover its many fine and complex aromas. And then finally, taste it.

My Note ::

  • Alcohol :: 12%, Degorge: Oct-2006. Dosage: 4g/liter. Fermented 10months in small oak barrels, rest for another 9months. 10yrs aged on lees with 2yrs post Degorgement recovery.
    This deep golden colorChampagneboost the most powerful, broad-shoulder aromas amongst all the rest. Hight oxidative style, almost copper like aromas but hey, the smell is much better than it sounds with caramel, brown sugar coated yellow fruits and bee wax that wrapped in a highly focus, powerful package. Similar to the 1999 Assemblage, this show good freshness in spite of the highly oxidative style. The smooth, intense palate is dominated by oxidative notes that is almost dry sherry like, sea shell, sea salt, salted mineral complexity with almond and hazelnut. Pure, elegance with fullish, powerful mouth feel that seems a touch heavy. Juicy and dry at the same time, very complex and classy that also boost the longest finished. A stylish Champagne that has very unique character, though the oxidative style and flavor might not a crowd pleaser or fancy by the purist. Buy if you like oxidative style Champagne.

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Note: Degorgement
An operation which consists – after several years of ageing – in extracting the sediment which was formed during the bottle fermentation. At this stage, the “dosage” is added and the final cork is sealed. This operation makes it necessary to open the bottle, thus causing the loss of a small proportion of carbon dioxide and its replacement by oxygen. From this date, therefore, a new process of ageing starts, which will cause oxidization and eventually “madeirisation”. This is why this date of Degorgement is so important. We recommend that the wine should be drunk at least 6months or even several years after this date, provided it is well stored, bottles lying in a dark and cool cellar.)

Note: Madeirisation
A tasting term. Wines that taste Madeirised – like Madeira – are most probably oxidised and therefore faulty. It generally only occurs in white wines. The resemblance to Madeira comes from the fact that oxidation is an intrinsic aspect of this unique wine. This oxidation occurs as the wines are heated in the estufa, so it may be that wines that taste Madeirised have been the victim of poor storage.

Note: Estufa (Portugal)
The estufa are the hothouses where Madiera is made. The heating of the wine is an essential part in the development of the character and flavour ofMadeira wine.

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