Champagne Bruno Paillard ‘the last to release a 2002’

22nd September, 2017 by Patrick Schmitt

Champagne Bruno Paillard has released a prestige cuvée from the 2002 harvest in Champagne – making it one of the last maisons to launch a fizz from this celebrated vintage.

The grapes for NPU, which were split equally between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, were sourced exclusively from six of Champagne’s 17 Grand Cru vineyards: Oger; Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; Chouilly; Verzenay; Mailly and Bouzy

The Champagne, called N.P.U. (Nec Plus Ultra) was launched globally yesterday in UK and will retail for £240 when it hits the shelves of London luxury wine retailer Hedonism next month (which already carries as many as 23 different cuvées from Champagne Bruno Paillard).

Just 6,200 bottles and 300 magnums – each of which are individually numbered – of N.P.U. 2002 have been made.

Significantly, the N.P.U. 2002 follows the 2003 vintage, which was launched last year, despite hailing from a more recent harvest.

Speaking to the drinks business yesterday, head of the Champagne house, Bruno Paillard, stressed that this really was the final opportunity to buy on release a prestige cuvée from the prized 2002 vintage.

“We really are the last to release a 2002,” he said, adding that this N.P.U. is the sixth “edition” in the history of the prestige cuvée, following the 1990, ’95, ’96, ’99 and ’03.

He also drew attention to the importance of not only the N.P.U’s long period ageing on the lees, but also off them, following disgorgement.

The Champagne has spent 11 years in contact with its yeast lees, and, having been disgorged in September 2014, has spent exactly three years resting after the sediment was expelled from the bottle, and a dosage of just 3 g/l was added to the cuvée.

According to Bruno, N.P.U. is made “only in great vintages, only using grand cru grapes, and it is always half Chardonnay, half Pinot Noir.”

It is also made using “exclusively first pressings”, while the wine is fermented and aged in second and third-fill barriques, which Bruno sources from prominent white wine producers in Graves.

In total, N.P.U. always spends at least nine months in barrel, and then a minimum of 10 years ageing on its lees in bottle.

Although Paillard told db that he doesn’t normally comment on future vintage releases, he did say that he “cannot say ‘no’ to the 2004”, admitting that there will be a 2004 N.P.U. to follow the 2002 and 2003.

Other 2002 vintages that have been recently-released from grande marque Champagne houses include the Rare 2002 from Piper-Heidsieck and the Noble Cuvée 2002 from Lanson.

Bruno Paillard founded the eponymous maison in 1981, and created his first N.P.U. from the 1990 vintage.

One Response to “Champagne Bruno Paillard ‘the last to release a 2002’”

  1. Steve Pritchard says:

    “Last to release a 2002”.

    Well, apart from Henriot and DP (P2)? 🙂

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