I am a long-time admirer of the Paillard family’s bottling of Première Cuvée and have quite a few examples aging comfortably in my cellar, as I find this one of the longest-lived non-vintage bottlings. In my experience, most new releases of this wine start out life a bit tightly-knit and in need of a bit of cellaring, but this most recent release was absolutely singing when tasted in mid-May. The wine is remarkable in that it hails from the difficult 2011 base year, but Alice Paillard noted that more reserve wine was used this year to keep the style and quality at its customary level. The wine this year is a blend of forty-five percent pinot noir, thirty-three percent chardonnay and twenty-two percent pinot meunier and the wine spent thirty-six months aging sur latte prior to disgorgement, and was finished with a dosage of six grams per liter. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a complex constellation of apple, white peach, pain grillé, a superb base of soil, citrus zest and a nice touch of caraway seed in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and vibrant, with a fine core, very elegant mousse, outstanding complexity and a very long, crisp and perfectly balanced finish. A superb wine by any stretch of the imagination! 93+
The NV Brut Première Cuvée (Disgorged 07/2016) has a bright straw-gold color. The blend of Pinot Noir (45%), Chardonnay (33%) and Pinot Meunier (22%) opens with a clear, fresh and open, very elegant and generous bouquet of bright, ripe fruits (melons, lemons) with beautiful chalk, brioche and toast flavors as well as emerging notes of sweet cherries and wild strawberries. Nice purity. This is a highly elegant, fresh, textured and tightly woven but very well balanced cuvée with lovely purity and a persistently salty, citrus-fresh and cleansing finish with good grip. This is an extraordinary effort. Tasted in Hamburg in October 2017. (SR)
Firm and focused, this lively Champagne is finely knit and elegant overall, offering flavors of Gala apple, pickled ginger, blackberry and toasted almond, with a hint of fleur de sel on the finish. (AN)
This is a bold, rich and slightly raw NV that has plenty of red and green apple aromas on the nose with fresh yeasty autolysis; quite elemental. The palate has a boldness, a rawness and an assertive green apple and honey core of flavor that's crisp and succulent.
Nearly a year in bottle after disgorgement has given this a toasty character. The acidity and the citrus fruits are still there, but they have been seamlessly integrated into the mature flavors. It's a light style, delicate and elegant. (RV)
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