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Pierre Paillard’s single vineyard Champagnes
24 May 2022

Champagne Pierre Paillard, run by brothers Antoine and Quentin, is set for stardom (though you might argue that has arrived already). Since taking over the reins in 2012 the brothers have been quietly and effectively implementing a whole range of improvements, so that they might better capitalise on their fantastic holdings in the village of Bouzy. Today, France’s Michelin starred establishments are a big part of their business, from Guy Savoy to Arpege and Le Cinq, not to mention the top tables from London to New York. The single vineyards Maillerettes and Mottelettes are produced from exceptional plots of organically farmed old vines, the former pure Pinot Noir, situated mid-slope where the roots are almost immediately into the chalk bedrock, the latter all Chardonnay, from richer and more clay dominated top soils closer to the village. Composed of a diverse selection of plant material, these 50 and 70 year old plots act as the mother blocks for the Paillard’s massale selections and as such, inform the entire estate’s output. For the excellent and vivid 2016 vintage they were fermented with natural yeasts, vinified half in oak barrels, the rest in steel tanks and given 47 months sur lie in the deep cool Paillard cellars. Both received just 1 gram of dosage. The fruit of these old vines on Bouzy soils is so well balanced, with such good maturity, that the wines offer up great depth and precision as well as real site character in a taut, yet powerful package. The Mottelettes, being a Blanc de Blancs from Bouzy, is a rare bird indeed – possessing the latent power of the village alongside the crisp citrus oil and oyster shell aromas of great Chardonnay. Maillerets is Bouzy perfection, parading baskets of red fruit, a biscuity richness, intense chalk minerality and blood orange and ginger complexity.

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