Bruno Paillard Vintage Brut Assemblage 2002
Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
Made only in the best vintages, this cuvee is made from a selection of grapes from fourteen crus in the Marne. As always at Bruno Paillard, only the first pressing has been used. Since he established the house, Bruno Paillard has produced vintages with very different personalities that he has personally selected.
The first notes are fresh, almost bitter almond, followed by fresh white peach, cherries, mulberry and some hints of wood on the nose. A quite fresh taste dominated by fruity and spicy notes. Candied lemon and almond paste on the palate with a very vivacious and long finish.
Wine Spectator - "A finely textured Champagne, fresh and lively but enriched by hints of beeswax and spun honey that accent flavors of white raspberry, tangerine, apple tarte Tatin, almond and ground ginger. Offers a clean, mineral-tinged finish. "
International Wine Cellar - "ight gold. Floral- and spice-accented aromas of lemon, orange and pear, with suave smoke and iodine nuances adding complexity. Bright, penetrating citrus fruit flavors put on weight with air, picking up notes of melon and poached pear. Rich but nervy Champagne with strong finishing cut and excellent mineral-driven persistence."
Bruno Paillard Winery
Bruno Paillard was born in Reims in 1953 into an established family of Champagne "vignerons" and brokers. He started his own brokerage in 1975 and founded his own Champagne house in 1981. In fact, it is the youngest prestige house to be created since World War II. Bruno Paillard is synonymous with quality. One hundred and twenty five acres of Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards provide the exceptional Pinot Noir, Pinot Munier and Pinot Chardonnay grapes which are used in the production of three luxury cuvees and one vintage Champagne. Each wine is produced in the traditional method and under the personal supervision of Bruno Paillard at his striking, state-of-the-art glass and stainless steel facility just outside Reims. Using only the first pressing of the grapes, Mr. Paillard is able to achieve the purest fruit flavors which then develop extraordinary balance during extended aging in the cellars. The Champagnes are all made with the dosage kept as low as possible in order to respect the authenticity of the wines. As a final note of quality, every bottle carries its date of "degorgement". Bruno Paillard is the only Champagne house to do so. The Champagnes of Bruno Paillard are rich, complex and dry but above all, elegant. View all Bruno Paillard Wines
About ChampagneChampagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.