Champagne Day: Bruno Paillard Premiere Cuvee Brut N/V

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It’s been too long since the last Champagne day and I figure it’s time to bring back this series and keep it more regular. Today’s Champagne is from the newest Champagne house (founded about 20 years ago), which is an amazing feat given how much financing you would need to start a new house these days. This difficulty is evidence by the fact that Paillard is the first new house in about 100 years.

Regionality and House Style

Paillard has his own vineyards in the Reims region, which contains mostly chalk slopes and some clay and gravel. While Pinot Noir is the main grape variety in this region, this particular Champagne also includes a healthy 33% Chardonnay, which is uncommon for Champagnes from Reims. For my money I think the Chardonnay adds considerably to the acidity and focus of the Champagne, which in turn helps its precision and balance.

Of course, since this Champagne is made in the house style and thus is blended from 30 different vineyards from which Paillard buys fruit on contract, it is hard to suggest there is any real terroir in the wine. It is, however, a masterful example of the art of blending.

Precision Wine Making

This is great Champagne. Disregarding the wonderful flavours of almonds, cream, and lemon, what makes this wine great is its tartness and precision on the palate combined with a nice silky rich texture and impeccable balance. This texture and balance are key to the wine’s success along with the right counterpoint of richness and clarity. A particularly impressive Champagne for the price.

Disgorged July 2009

$70 at Liberty Wine


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