Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Champagne (1.5L)
*Top 100 Wines of 2013* Shows lovely balance, with a satiny quality to the refined mousse and mouthwatering acidity meshing with pure notes of poached quince, lemon mousse, white cherry and fresh ginger. Offers a lightly chalky finish. Disgorged January 2012. Drink now through 2020.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Light, bright gold. Toasted bread, pear nectar and honey on the nose and palate, with a subtle touch of rhubarb adding an earthy quality. Spicy, nicely concentrated orchard fruit flavors pick up a bitter citrus pith nuance with air and show very good intensity. Closes on a smoky, leesy note, with firm grip and lingering toastiness.
I am incredibly excited about the extraordinary quality of this top grower's Champagne. The name might sound familiar, as they are cousins with the negociant Bruno Paillard. But, their production is completely separate, and unlike Bruno, all estate-grown. What an estate they have... 28 acres exclusively in the Montagne de Reims grand cru top village of Bouzy. There they exclusively cultivate their own selection of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay--they do not have a single clone on the estate. This wine is composed of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, based on the 2007 harvest with 31% 2006 as reserve wine and dosed at 7 grams per liter. This wine has such power and presence it deserves a great pairing like lobster, but also has the elegance to enjoy as the aperitif. (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)