Pierre Paillard’s thrilling new Montagne de Reims releases

4 October 2023

Quentin and Antoine Paillard are already celebrated in Bouzy, with enviable parcels of old vines and a knack for turning out wines of precision and character. Having spent a decade refining their Bouzy production, they’ve become increasingly interested in exploring the possibilities of other top vineyards across the Montagne de Reims. Today, we are delighted to propose the inaugural offering from this new venture.

The concept is simple – organic fruit from old vines from the best vineyards in their respective terroirs, handpicked by the Paillard team and then vinified in oak where it stays for 11 months before being bottled under cork for the 2nd fermentation. Each wine undergoes four years sur lie before disgorgement with no dosage.

The 2018s feature the northern Montagne de Reims villages of Ludes and Verzenay, north facing sites chosen to complement their south facing Bouzy single plot cuvees Maillerettes and Mottelettes. Their release marks the start of a project that should swell to five or six villages in time.

The result is a series of strikingly individual terroir-driven Champagnes; wines that differ in texture and structure as much as they do in aromatic profile.

Verzenay, famed for its cooler expression of Pinot Noir, brings together two old vine plots, Les Corettes, planted in 1979, the Champ Saint-Martin planted in 1967. Crisp and taut, with complex, expressive red fruits, citrussy white flowers, it offers an enlivening combination of delicate detail with a steely core.

Ludes, is a rare old vine Meunier cuvee from vines planted on north facing slopes in the 1960s where thin top soils quickly lead to hard chalk. The combination of exposition and soils leads to a saline, mineral driven Meunier that plays the varietal’s natural fruit off against a sense of tension and mineral exactitude to beautiful effect.

Alongside these you have their own vine massale selection vineyards of Les Maillerettes and Les Mottelettes.

The former is an old vine Pinot Noir cuvee from a single plot planted in 1970 which Peter Liem describes the plot as "one of the most highly regarded pinot nor vineyards in Champagne.” It offers up all the Bouzy expression you could hope for in a taut, intense focussed package.

Les Mottelettes is a rare Bouzy Blanc de Blancs from a vineyard planted to a massale selection in 1961. Listed at Parisian institutions like Guy Savoy, Arpege, Le Cinq and Taillevent, it’s a rich yet pure expression of Chardonnay grown on intensely chalky soils with full south facing exposure to the sun.

With limited runs of 2 to 3.5K bottles per cuvee, these rare birds are not to be missed. We fully expect them to sell out, so catch them while you can.

These wines are in stock and ready for immediate delivery.

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