Everyone knows that Champagne, that iconic sparkling wine produced only in the Champagne region of France, exudes elegance, sophistication, and sheer pleasure with each sip. We also know that we should enjoy a glass of Champagne any time we feel the urge to engage in a bit of decadence and delight. The reality for many (count me in…) is the price. How many of us are going to pop the cork of a $100+ bottle of Champagne just for the sake of making an ordinary night ever so chic (albeit exponentially better)? Many of us have a Champagne budget that’s, well, more modest than our palate would prefer.
Fortunately, I’ve made a brilliant discovery. Just in time for New Year’s Eve, the day after, happy hour with a dear friend, and family movie night is Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée MV Champagne (sent to me as a sample). At a mere $50 (a shocking price for the real-deal, Champagne), find some glasses and start pouring! This bubbly is not only wallet friendly, it’s an exceptional wine you’ll purchase and pour again and again.
So, where is the region of Champagne?
Located about 90 miles northeast of Paris, at the northernmost zone for vine cultivation, continental and oceanic influences abound in Champagne. Often, debilitating winter frosts, vast amount of sunshine in the summer, cool temperatures, and consistent rainfall are elements that affect each harvest. Hillside homes and underground cellars dot the landscape in the four main growing regions: Montagne de Reims, Vallee de la Marne, Côte des Blancs, and Côte des Bar.
With a limited availability of land (at an extremely high price, by the way), there is no space left for additional grape growing. Of the approximately 20,000 land owners, 5000 produce their own estate wines; the majority produce Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay grapes that are sold to large Champagne houses. Yields are decided upon prior to harvest in order to focus on excellence, not volume. Champagne growers are focused on consistency of quality and style through blending grapes, plots, and villages. And so are those of Maison Bruno Paillard.
Maison Bruno Paillard
Founded in 1981, Bruno Paillard Champagne House has worked with families who have cultivated grapes in the region for many years. Bruno Paillard purchased his first vineyard in 1994 with three Grand Cru hectares in Oger in the Côte des Blancs. Now he has 79 acres of vineyards including 15 crus (Villages); 35 acres of the total come from Grand and Premier cru vineyards. The 79 acres represent 50% of its supply (an exceptionally high percentage for a Champagne house). Chardonnay vineyards comprise 29 acres, Pinot Noir are cultivated on 32 acres, and Pinot Meunier are grown in 18 acres. All are located in different locations boasting unique terroir and microclimates.
The annual production at Maison Bruno Paillard is comparatively small and each Champagne is a “reflection of his palate and what he personally seeks from a Champagne”. The wines are from a range of vintage years (MV signifies “multi-vintage”); the absence of a vintage date on the label indicates that a champagne is MV or NV (non-vintage). In fact, a stock of some of the oldest multi-vintage reserve wines in Champagne, dating back over 25 years, can be found at Maison Bruno Paillard.
Interestingly, Bruno Paillard was the first to print disgorgement dates on Champagne labels. According to Bruno Paillard, “in the life of a bottle of Champagne, the disgorgement is a key moment: from that day, a process of ageing begins that is unique to Champagne”. He continues to be the Champagne region’s most passionate advocate of this practice and other Houses now feature disgorgement dates on their wines. Click here for more information about disgorgement at Maison Bruno Paillard.
Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée MV Champagne
From the beginning, Maison Bruno Paillard has embraced the mission to create a Champagne different from others, one that is “extremely pure”. To that extent, Paillard admits that a “great Champagne is, above all, the blending of diverse crus, grape varieties and vintages. It is about the constant desire to capture the quintessential finesse and elegance which Champagne can bring when it is served with love and care”.
I tasted that elegance (and more) with each sip of Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée MV Champagne one evening.
With each pour of this exceptional wine, I appreciated its persistent, delicate mousse from the first sip to the last. Bright, lively, and complex were just a few descriptors my friend and I noted as we treasured the mesmerizing aromas and delicate flavors of juicy citrus, almonds, red fruit, and a touch of exotic spice enveloped in mouthwatering acidity and a smooth as silk mouthfeel. Pure and fresh with only a minimum of extra sugar added (“dosage”), Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée MV Champagne was a highlight of the evening. And that disgorgement date? Located on the back of the bottle, I found that it was disgorged in March of 2017.
Currently, Alice Paillard, Bruno’s daughter who has hands-on experience in the vineyards, the cellar, and in management, co-manages the Maison with her father. Together, they maintain an independent Champagne house that exports 75% of their wines to 30 different countries (mostly to Europe, Asia, and North America).
I’m thrilled to share that we’re able to find Bruno Paillard Première Cuvée MV Champagne in restaurants and exclusive wine shops. Promise to purchase more than one bottle of this stunning, affordable Champagne… and savor each sip any time you desire.
Cheers! ~ Cindy