Variety: 45% Pinot Noir; 33% Chardonnay; 22% Pinot Meunier
Region: Reims, France – Champagne Region
Cost: $60 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: The golden straw color reveals a high presence of Chardonnay and the exclusive use of the first pressing. The fine bubbles are due to a strict selection of the best grapes, perfectly controlled temperature in the cellar and very long aging.
The primary aromas reveal the citrus fruits of Chardonnay: lime and grapefruit. Then the red fruit aromas of Pinot Noir appear: red currant, raspberry, morello cherries. When left to open up in the glass, the wine shows hints of dried fruits, sometimes exotic, from Pinot Meunier.
Lively and vivacious, thanks to a low dosage, the aromas on the nose are echoed in the mouth. Primary flavors of citrus, almonds, and toasted bread, very soon joined by red currant jelly but also dark fruits like cherry, fig, and blackberry.
Whilst the wine opens up in the glass and gets warmer, it expresses light plum and pear flavors. The palate is full, quite long with a very clean finish. The Premier Cuvee Champagne is an excellent aperitif. It matches divinely with cheese (Brie, Camembert, aged Salers), poultry, and shellfish.
My Review: First off, I have to say that the above may be the most in-depth winemaker’s notes I’ve ever typed up; as a general rule I copy them verbatim (with some light grammatical editing), but I was very close to editing those for length.
Ok, enough about how I approach writing this blog, let’s talk about what’s important—the wine.
I received the Bruno Paillard Premier Cuvee back in October, but knowing my plans for the holidays (see: too much food and family), I decided to sit on it until I could open it at Thanksgiving with my parents, either with the meal, some snacks, or to help me get through the holiday. Spoiler: it was the second option (barely).
In the glass the wine was a lovely straw color that screamed Chardonnay, with very small bubbles floating to the top of the glass. On the nose I picked up aromas of citrus (lemon, lime, and grapefruit), along with notes of toasted, yeasty bread. As the wine opened up and warmed up, these were joined by notes of raspberry.
In the mouth the tiny bubbles that I could see tickled across my tongue, with the citrus and toasted bread notes from the nose being joined by meringue and a nuttiness that I rather enjoyed before leading into a nice clean finish.
We paired the wine with a snack board (cheeses and meats) before Thanksgiving dinner, and the wine was a hit with everyone, including my father-in-law that prefers cheap beer to wine.
We’re nearly to the end of the year, and between the Christmas holiday and New Years, this is a great option to open up and share with friends over snacks, with dinner, or just to toast as we celebrate and prepare to ring in 2022.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.