We look forward to welcoming Alice Paillard at the Top 100 Symposium in New York City. She’ll be pouring the Champagne Bruno Paillard wines on January 14, 2020 at Union Park Events. Here is Corey Warren’s profile of the winery printed in our 2020 Buying Guide:
Bruno and Alice Paillard produce rich insider Champagne.
Bruno Paillard comes from a line of grape growers and brokers in Bouzy and Verzenay stretching back to 1704. At 27, he was already a well-connected courtier when he decided to start his own Champagne label. It was 1981, and he financed the venture by selling his antique Jaguar to buy grapes and produce his wines in a rented cellar. Paillard set out to age his wines on the lees for two to four times longer than the legal requirement and worked with a low level of dosage. He included the disgorgement date on the back of each bottle in 1983—a practice since adopted by a number of top producers. By 1994, he was able to acquire his first 7 acres of land, in the grand-cru village of Oger. Paillard has since assembled a domaine of 80 acres, some under contract, 30 within grands crus. Viticulturist Mathieu Pingret plows between the vines, prunes short and avoids the use of herbicides and pesticides. Bruno and his daughter Alice have shared winemaking responsibilities since 2017, working in stainless steel and oak to vinify crus, varieties and even parcels separately, then blending them into rich, long-lived Champagnes.
Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs (95 points)
The Paillards use only the first pressing of grapes from the Côte des Blancs for this wine. That purity is apparent in the delicacy of the flavor, as the wine’s chalky intensity mellows against the soft bubbles. They keep a réserve perpetuelle that dates back to 1985 and provides up to 50 percent of the blend each year, adding depth and richness.
This story was featured in W&S Winter 2019.
This story appears in the print issue of Winter 2019.
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