2004 Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Vintage Champagne
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid yellow-gold. Potent red berry, blood orange and quince on the perfumed nose, with a chalky nuance adding lift and focus. Offers sappy red fruit and citrus pith flavors that flesh out and deepen with air while picking up a sexy floral quality. Closes with building spiciness, a hint of toasty lees and excellent clarity and length. Disgorged in December, 2013. Lot EX121304.
I find 2004 to be the most collectible of all vintages in current release because it represents a rare event--an old fashioned, classic vintage. The last harvest in Champagne to have consistent, cool, long hang time growing conditions like this was 1988, and we haven't seen another one since 2004. That is two "classic" harvests in 25 years... and counting! This wine is composed of half Chardonnay from the Motellettes parcel planted in 1961 and half Les Maillerettes plot planted in 1970. It is dosed at only 3.5g/l and comes across as very dry but not at all austere due to the fantastic concentration of the old vines. The aroma is full of brioche, savory red fruit and cool sea air. This Champagne shows very young on the palate for its age but has a natural richness and authority that makes it fine for now, and better for the future. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)