NV Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée Extra-Brut, Reims, Champagne, France (Alcohol 12%, Residual Sugar 7 g/l) LCBO Vintages $73.95 (750ml bottle)
I’ll start off by saying that my monthly wine budget doesn’t usually allow for that much Champagne, but revisiting this non-vintage Champagne after a couple of years, I was utterly charmed by both its definition and elegance. Upon tasting it with a couple of friends recently I was reminded of just how enjoyable well-crafted champagne could be, and why in cases such as this excellent bottling from Bruno Paillard it’s truly worth every penny.
If the truth be told, I find a lot of NV Champagne to be extremely milquetoast, and designed more to offend as few people as possible as opposed to aiming for any kind of brilliance; this one finds a healthy balance of the two, making for an irresistibly vibrant glass of biscuity bubbly. Whilst it doesn’t have too much of the autolytic yeasty characteristics one finds in so many Grower champagnes, there’s more than enough personality here to pique any ardent vinophile’s interest.
The bouquet isn’t just gorgeously biscuity though, as there’s also a whole load of other stuff at play here: roasted nuts, windfall apples, bearss lemon zest. The palate is a real treat, the extremely fine mousse in perfect synchronicity with the intense apple/citrus fruit, crisp defined acid structure, and an excellent saline/mineral adventure mid-back palate that extends long into the most enjoyable finish.
This is an artfully crafted and sophisticated Champagne that definitely deserves your attention.
(Four and a half out of a possible five apples)
Bruno Paillard’s Champagnes are represented in Ontario by Icon Vins Fins.
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