Pierre Paillard NV Brut Grand Cru
Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
#88 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013
Bright, golden colors. The bubbles are tiny and bright, the result of long ageing. Intense aromas on the nose. Fresh and slightly toasted aromas. We are in the hear of the Bouzy terroir with notes of citrus and yellow fruit. Sharp, elegant and balanced. After early notes of apple and pear come notes of pastry, brioche, toasted bread and grilled almonds.
Wine & Spirits - "This blend focuses on Pinot Noir (60 percent) over Chardonnay, harvested from 22 parcels in Bouzy. It's a heady Champagne, with generous flavors wilding from orange to tangelo and citrus pith, the lime-brisk acidity driving forward with the bubbles in a frothy minerality. The fleshy grape skin character integrates the wine's structural edges into richness. Best Buy."
Wine Spectator - "Racy, with a tightly knit palate of apricot, chalk, lemon zest and biscuit flavors, featuring a vivacious, lacy mousse. Well-balanced, with a clean-cut, minerally finish."
Pierre Paillard Winery
Bouzy is located in the heart of the Montagne de Reims, a renowned Grand Cru for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Paillard family settled here in the early 18th century. Eight generations later, they have become an independent Family House, ambitious in its vine-growing expectations. Respect of the soil, control of the yields, vinification per plot and long ageing are the important characteristics of our wines and the motivations behind their daily work.
All of their champagnes are produced from their grapes grown on one of the most prestigious Grand Cru terroirs in Champagne: Bouzy. Our vineyards make up 11 hectares (28 acres), composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40 % Chardonnay. View all Pierre 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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