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 Extra Brut Première Cuvée is the most famous wine of the winery, its calling card, and is obtained from the blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir from 35 different crus according to a blend that is kept secret. The cuvée, composed also by 25 vintages of vins de réserve (which reach up to 50%), ages for 3 years on the lees before disgorging and re-ripening with a liqueur d’expédition dosed less than 6 g/l.
The bottle, which carries on the back label the disgorgement date (October 2019) like all the bottles of the house (one of the first to opt for this trick), shows a full straw yellow color combined with a really refined and incessant perlage. The bouquet opens with notes of lime, kumquat, fresh grass and croissants, followed by a hint of currant and cranberry, candied citron, saffron and hay, with concluding echoes of toasted almond and custard. The palate shine for its citrine freshness enriched by a touch of softness and the masterful perlage creaminess; all while return the citrus and croissant that accompany the sip to a good length closure.
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