Debut of the Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2002

Jun 12, 13 Debut of the Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2002

Posted by in Champagne

More champagne today. As Liberace said, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful…”  (I just saw “Behind the Candelabra” – good movie but didn’t knock my socks off. And that is the end of my film critic career…) ANYWAY, back to the more important stuff…It’s that time of year when the champagne houses release their vintages and Alice  Paillard was in London last week to introduce the Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blanc Grande Cru 2002 and it’s brand new label. Sitting with Alice and listening her speak so passionately about her family’s champagnes is infectious. Describing the champagnes, she really showed the care and detail that goes into all of them, not just the Blanc de Blanc. They age their wines until they feel they are ready, they want to show the style of  the vintages, which helps explain why they are just now releasing the 2002 when most of the other major houses have long ago released theirs. The 2002 Blanc de blanc Grand Cru was a surprise – still very taut and zinging with minerality, it has a floral quality to it. The grapes come the first pressing of 2 Cotes de Blancs Grand Cru – Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and have spent over 10 years on their lees. Alice said that she and her father, Bruno, differed on this champagne, he thinks it’s pretty and floral and in her opinion, it’s a vertiginous champagne, it has a fine structure -she sees it as a champagne of geometry (I think her father is the romantic in the family and she’s the pragmatist). Drinking it, I could appreciate both their points of view. A very pretty nose, full of floral qualities but totally different on the palate – a champagne that does indeed have structure or better yet, for me, it had many different layers. The more I drank, the more I discovered. We had a starter of cured salmon, avocado, crab and orange slices with the B de B 2002 which...

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Bruno and Joel (Paillard and Robuchon) -the lunch video

Finally managed to get the video uploaded from lunch at Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier with Bruno Paillard’s champagnes a couple of weeks ago. The video’s not as long as it looks, only 5 minutes but Viddler insists on adding lots of extra space at the end. Alice Paillard (Bruno’s daughter), Willie Lebus from Bibendum wines and eatlikeagirl are all in there, along with me, TheWinesleuth. You can read my post here if you don’t like video. [viddler id=20af4309&w=437&h=333] Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Lunch partners Bruno and Joel (Paillard and Robuchon)

Picture it – 10:20 Monday morning, just sitting down to the laptop, still in my jammies with a nice big pot of coffee by my side, thinking of heading over to the California wine trade tasting later that afternoon. (Riiiiing, riiiiing) “Hullo?” “Denise? Hi, it’s Dan from Bibendum. Listen I’m very sorry to bother you. Are you busy today? ” “Just the California show today. Why? Are you going?” “I know this is really short notice and I do apologise but do you think you’d be available to hop on down to Covent Garden for a champagne tasting and lunch? I’m really sorry for such short notice. It’s Bruno Paillard Champagne at Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier in Covent Garden and …um, someone dropped out and we have an extra space and…um… it would be great if you could make it by 11:30.” “11:30?!?!” It takes at least 45 minutes to get to Central London from my house but I wasn’t going to miss this lunch. California would be there til 5:30 and Hell, I’m from there! I promised I’d be at L’Atelier as close to noon as possible. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten ready so quick and I made it with seconds to spare. The luncheon was hosted by Bruno Paillard himself and Willie Lebus, one of  the Directors of Bibendum Wines. We started off with a tasting of Bruno’s Old Disgorgements Collection which was the occasion we were commemorating. The collections consisted of 5 bottles that had been disgorged at various intervals from 6 months to 12 years in order to appreciate the evolution of the champagne. As Bruno explained, after disgorgement, (basically removing the dead yeast cells after the second fermentation), the wine really comes into it’s own, aging throughout the years, passing through 5 or 6 distinct stages ranging from fruit dominated flavours and aromas all the way to the candied fruits and aged roasted notes of mature champagne. What can I say about the wines. Bruno Paillard is one of my favourites and I’ve written about his champagnes previously. I just love his style of champagnes, full...

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Bruno Paillard Vintage Champagnes

We tried 5 different champagnes in the Bruno Paillard masterclass held at the just opened Bluebird Wine shop. I’ve blogged previously about their non-vintage champagnes, now it’s the turn of the vintage champagnes to go through the wringer. The house only releases vintage champagnes in what they consider exceptional years, of which there are two labels. The first one was the Bruno Paillard Brut Assemblage 1999. All the Assemblages spend 9 years on the lees before disgorgement and all the grapes come from a single vintage only. Another unique characteristic of the Assemblage is the label. Each vintage has an individually designed label by a modern artist. The house picks two words to describe the champagne and then asks the artist to create a label that reflects the words. The French artist Didier Paquignon was asked to do the ’99 label. The two words picked to describe the ’99 were tumultuous and warm. This champagne was certainly a bigger and fuller bodied champagne then the previous NV examples. It was a rich yellow in colour with a complex nose of biscuit, brioche, and butter with underlying fruit aromas of figs and apricots all rolling around together in the glass. I suppose you could say it was a bit tumultuous with various aromas vying for attention. On the palate it followed through with toast, butter, cream, and the full rich flavours of ripe apricots and a figgy caramel note with a lingering finish. The bubbles were fine and delicate. The last was the Bruno Paillard Nec Plus Ultra 1995. The origins of  this champagne came about because of two British journalists who asked Bruno why didn’t he produce a single cuvee? And so the idea for the N.P.U was born. So far there have only been 2 NPU, the ’90 and the ’95 vintages. There are very strict criteria and only 9,000 bottles are produced. All the grapes must come from grand cru vineyards and must be from truly outstanding vintages. The grapes are pressed...

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Bruno Paillard Champagne (NV)

I attended a masterclass the other day at a new wine shop that has recently opened within the Bluebird Cafe/Restaurant complex. Bluebird, on the King’s Road in Chelsea, has been around for about 10 years but has recently undergone renovations and has now had an epicerie and wineshop added to the premises. Bruno Paillard is a small, young champagne house that has only been producing since the early 1980’s. To start a champagne house in the last 20th century was considered  madness by the Champenois but through hardwork, perservence, a dedication to selecting only the best grapes from independent growers and strict controls on the winemaking process, he has managed to produce some truly amazing, fine, delicate champagne. The house trademark of all their champagnes is low dosage (whereby bottles are topped up with sweetened  wine after the second fermentation – read more here. ) Most brut champagne has a dosage of around 12 grams per liter, Paillard champagnes have an average of 6-8 grams per liter. The philosophy behind this is to produce wines that highlight the freshness of the wines, while at the same time allowing the purity and balance of the champagne come through. The first champagne was their Premier Cuvee Brut NV (8gr/lt). The house only uses the first pressings for all of their wines to ensure that only the purest juice is used. This sample was a blend of Chardonnay, P.Noir and P.Meunier. A pale yellow in colour with tiny bubbles spiraling up the glass. Zesty and light, citrusy-floral nose with hints of orange blossoms. Clean, fresh and with a youthful appeal but not bitter as some young champagnes can be, lemon-lime flavours on the palate with a long finish. This was a definite palate cleanser but not astringent or acidic, very well balanced. (retail £33) We then moved onto the Blanc de Blanc Reserve Privee Grand Cru (6g/ltr). This champagne had spent 4 years on its lees and that was definitely evident on the nose as well as...

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