The Bruno Paillard Ethos
A glimpse at Maison Bruno Paillard’s website swiftly reveals how proud the independent, family-owned house are of their terroir, in the heart of the Champagne region. “The respect of this inimitable terroir is a guiding principle for the Maison,” they claim. And I can confirm that this dedication glows through into their product.
This adherence to biodiversity and organic/sustainable principles even encompasses the type of pickets capping off each row of vines — they’re made from recycled, untreated wood, rather than the usual iron. In fact, Bruno Paillard’s vineyards have been awarded the highest rating in the HVE (High Environmental Value) classification system.
This Première Cuvée is a mélange of crus and vintages, using the classic Champagne blend of Pinot Noir (45%), Chardonnay (33%) and Meunier (22%). The advantage of using a mixture of reserve vintages is, of course, that the blend won’t be held to ransom by the vicissitudes of the northern-French climate. In other words, a multi-vintage Champagne will offer more consistency of quality across the years than a regular vintage, while also allowing the makers to impress their character on the wine through the blend.
The Première Cuvée’s especially dry and toasty taste comes from three years on the lees (double the legal requirement), while extra maturation in the cellar (for a minimum of six months after disgorgement) adds to its layers of complexity.
On the nose, it’s sharp, bright and elegant, with clean and crisp lemon and grapefruit notes from the Chardonnay, with a follow-up of red berries from the Pinot Noir as it oxidises in the glass. I recommend enjoying it with mussels, followed by a board of vintage cheeses. A genuine special-occasion wine.
4 NINJA STARS
Maison Bruno Paillard Extra Brut Multi Vintage Champagne: RRP £45. Available via The Finest Bubble, Selfridges, Hedonism (magnum only: £97.80), Spirited Wines and leading wine-focused restaurants.