No doubt Champagne’s Maison Bruno Paillard, despite its youth (it was founded in 1981), has long conquered the most refined and demanding hearts and palates. Before starting to produce Champagne Bruno worked as mediator, learning the difficult work of selecting the best grapes, and their correct economic evaluation, skills that are still useful to him today, when he has to negotiate the purchase grapes price, with the historic holders of his winery, from vineyards located in 30 different villages. This winery, in fact, produced its Champagne, until 1994, exclusively from grapes purchased, and only over time has come to own about 34 hectares (12.5 Gran Cru and the rest Premier Cru), divided into 100 parcels, which cover half of the annual needs of grapes.
In the vineyards (both owned and delivered) the approach is inspired by sustainable agriculture, with the ban of herbicides and pesticides, grassing and the creation of organic fertilizers customized for each single parcel. The grapes obtained, coming from 40 different crus, are sent to the press closest to each individual vineyard, where is obtained from them exclusively the free-run must which is the juice of the first, delicate, pressing, which never exceeds half a litre for each kilogram of grape. Then the musts reach the central Reims cellar, where they are placed in 96 steel tanks and 400 fourth passage barriques (depending on the parcel of origin) to ferment separately and perform, spontaneously, malolactic. After about 6 months, with the arrival of spring, it’s time to assembly and, in the case of non-vintage products, to use (up to 50%) of the vin de réserve, which are obtained through a delicate Solera system started in 1985.
The Assemblage Millésime 2002, a blend of Pinot Noir (42%), Chardonnay (42%) and Pinot Meunier (16%), after the assembly, had a period of ageing of almost 8 years before disgorgement (occurred in July 2011 and reported on the back label) and then spent a year resting and rebalancing (concept very dear to the producer) before matketing. Opening a wine after 10 years of ageing not only does not cause problems but, according to what the winery declares, only as time goes by it acquires the most peculiar and fascinating characteristics of the “Paillard style”.
As a matter of fact, the wine shows a colour between straw and golden, with some nuances that, depending on the source of light to which they are exposed, show a principle of amber idea, with a delicate but still very much alive perlage, and a fine and subtle effervescence. The nose shows an aromatic range that begins with candied citron, sultanas, panettone and blueberry fragrances, with a side of kumquat, Japanese apricot, orange blossoms honey and hazelnuts, followed by faint but intriguing echoes of roasting and maderization. The mouthfeel surprises for the great acidity, which is its backbone, enriched by a deliciously creamy effervescence and a delicate bitter-mineral vein, with the return of sour fruit and citrus fruits which lead the sip towards an always creamy great satisfaction final.
Want to find out what I can do for you? Click here!