Brothers Quentin and Antoine Paillard are 8th generation growers in the Grand Cru village Bouzy, on the southern facing slopes of the Montagne de Reims. Their family has been crafting wine for more than 200 years. In the vineyards, they are working actively to protect and invigorate the soil by using their own organic composts and by treating the vines with biodynamic inspired natural infusions. Their goal is to conserve the flora and fauna in the soils and chemical herbicides and insecticides are never used.
In the cellar, minimal intervention is the rule; chaptalization, enzymes, artificial settling agents and cold stabilization are not included in their toolbox. The wines benefit from extended aging and certain cuvées are aged for up to 10 years before disgorgement and release. The dosage for all cuvées normally falls in the Extra Brut range (2-4g/l) and the result is wines with richness, power and elegance.
Total annual production is normally around 7,500 cases (90,000 bottles).
Les Maillerettes: This cuvée has been bottled separately since the 2007 vintage. Pinot Noir from this single vineyard plot is provides the quintessential profile of this terroir. Planted in 1970, these vines deliver the classic full-bodied texture that one would expect from this great village. Pure, fresh and precise, with a touch of salinity on the finish…all benchmark characteristics of wines grown in Bouzy.
Les Mottelettes: Chardonnay is somewhat rare on the Montagne de Reims, but the Paillards devote 30% of their vineyards to this varietal, planted specifically in the sites with almost no clay topsoil allowing the roots of the vines to plunge directly into the porous chalky limestone bedrock. Planted in 1960, a rare Blanc de Blancs single-vineyard cuvée has been produced from these vines since 2007. In a unique expression of Bouzy terroir, the wine displays aromas of tangy citrus enhanced with exotic notes of pineapple, passion fruit and jasmine displaying the subtle tension between fruit and minerals.
La Grande Récolte: Produced only in the finest of vintages, this wine represents the quintessence of Paillard’s vineyards. This is a blend of the first press of the finest lots of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and released after at least 10 years of aging on its lees.
This is a gem of an estate of just 11 hectares, unusually blessed with having uniquely Grand Cru vineyards in the famed village of Bouzy. Nestled on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims, this village, along with neighboring Ambonnay, is famed for producing some of the region’s most intense, profound and exceptional Pinot Noir.
The Paillards have been crafting wine in Grand Cru village of Bouzy for over 200 years, yet it is only in recent years that the estate has begun to fulfil its true potential. Brothers Antoine and Quentin returned to the Domaine in 2008, before taking full control in 2012. Bringing energy, an outward looking sensibility and a deep respect for their fantastic vineyards, the brothers have rejuvenated the estate to such a degree that it now stands as one of the finest family houses in all of Champagne.
Being Bouzy, their holdings are dominated by Pinot Noir, most of which is either their own sélection massale or Burgundian Pinot Fin and of an impressive age. Soil health is seen as paramount and as a result only organic composts and treatments are employed. Fermentations are spontaneous, malos never blocked, and the wines are never chaptalized or cold stabilized –this is the sort of hands-off winemaking that is only made possible by exceptional fruit and very attentive farming.
A steadily increasing proportion of wooden barrels is employed for the small lot vinifications that are the norm here, before ageing sur lie in their 17m deep, spotless, historic family cellars. In the case of Les Parcelles this runs to an impressive 48 months prior to release –commensurate with the fact that the blend is composed from 22 individually vinified plots of Grand Cru vineyards –quite a claim for a mere ‘entry’ level wine. Dominated by Pinot Noir this is a seriously delicious Champagne full of precise golden fruit and a deeply impressive minerality –it is without a doubt one of the finest NV blends we’ve come across.
Beyond Les Parcelles, an extremely impressive Rosé includes 5% of Bouzy Coteaux Champenois in the blend, leading to a pink fizz of delicate spice and real sophistication. There are also two sadly scarce single vineyards bottlings in the range; the old vine Blanc de Noir Maillerettes and a rare Bouzy Blanc de Blancs Mottelettes –both of which hail from historic and highly chalky plots of over 50 year old vines, aged for more than 60 months sur lie, before bottling with under 4 grams of sugar. -Justerini & Brooks, Paillard Importers in the UK
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