Bruno Paillard’s family lineage of brokers and growers in the two Grand Cru villages of Bouzy and Verzenay dates back to 1704. Following in their footsteps, Bruno began as a broker in 1975, and acquired a deep and extensive knowledge of the region and its wines. In 1981, at the age of 27, he started his own Champagne house – the first new maison in nearly a century. After renting a cellar for three years and purchasing carefully selected grapes from independent growers, Bruno released his first Champagnes. He then built his own cellar, allowing him total control over temperature, lighting and humidity. In 1990 Bruno built his current winery, and in 1994 began purchasing vineyards. He now has 62 acres, almost half of which are Grand Cru. The fruit from these vineyards cover 50% of his production needs and they are farmed organically and sustainably – a rigorous and delicate job given that his holdings are subdivided into 70 different parcels. Bruno sources the remaining fruit through long-term contracts with high-quality, independent growers. The grapes are hand-harvested, only juice from the first press is used and each wine is vinified separately in stainless steel (75%) and oak (25%). The exception is N.P.U. which is fermented and aged entirely in oak. The multi-vintage blends incorporate 25-50% reserve wines. Sur lie aging is two to three times the AOC requirement - three years for the multi-vintages, at least eight years for the vintages and 10-15 years for the N.P.U. Although they are labeled as Brut, all of Paillard’s Champagnes are technically Extra Brut as their dosage is 6 grams or less per liter. Bruno Paillard produces a mere 42,000 cases per year. From the Brut Premiere Cuvee to the N.P.U. (Non Plus Ultra), each cru shares a hallmark – a certain finesse and wonderful tension between fruit and acidity. Naturally, they pair beautifully with food and Champagne Bruno Paillard can be found on the wine list of more than 400 Michelin starred restaurants. All bottles carry the disgorgement date on the back label, a quality step pioneered by Paillard. After disgorgement, the bottles rest in the cellar for a minimum of 3-4 months before they are labeled and shipped.
|Initial fresh and fruity aromas of citrus, red currant and raspberry precede flavors of almond, toast, cherry, fig and blackberry. The long clean finish features a beautiful persistent mousse and is framed by an edge of chalky minerality.
| Wine Spectator 91 points (Nov 15 2012)
There’s an intensity to this firm Champagne, with structuring notes of white peach, fresh-cut apple, stony mineral and a hint of beeswax. Vivacious, with a chalky sensation on the finish. Disgorged September 2010. Best from 2014 through 2019. 800 cases imported. –AN
Wine Spectator 90 points (Aug 31 2014)
Broad and creamy on the palate and framed by firm, citrusy acidity, this finely meshed Champagne offers a subtle array of spiced pear, white raspberry, shortbread and almond skin flavors with a chalky finish. Disgorged June 2012. Drink now through 2018. 42,000 cases made. –AN
|Wine maker notes
|Brut Premiere Cuvee is a true reflection of the Champagne area because it includes the 3 grape varieties from more than 30 villages. At 60% of the house production, it is the flagship of Bruno Paillard style. Top quality wine, Brut Premiere Cuvee has to survive any harvest whether rich or poor. No effort is saved to reach this constant quality.
-The exclusive use of the first pressing, also named “cuvee”, guarantees the best and purest juice.
-The noblest varieties dominate the blend: 45% of Pinot Noir, 33% of chardonnay and 22% of Pinot Meunier.
-Depending on the year, the blend includes 20 to 50% of “Brut Premiere Cuvee Reserved Wines” aged in tanks and barrels.
-In the event of a very bad year, production is down and more reserved wines are used (as for 1994 and 2001).
-The ageing of Brut Premiere Cuvee goes far beyond the law. Bottles spend more than three years in the cellar before disgorgement plus 3 to 4 months after.
-A true “Brut”, this wine has a very low “dosage” with only 6 grams per litre. Fine and elegant, Brut Premiere Cuvee is a wine of balance and complexity.
|(45% Pinot Noir/33% Chardonnay/22% Pinot Meunier). Fruit from 32 different vineyards was blended with reserve wines, aged sur lie and a dosage of 6 g/l.