The temperate and harmonious climate in 2004 produced a well-balanced wine that shows youthful energy and an ample, complex structure. Ripe red and black fruits and spices combine with nuts, honey and dried citrus. The finish is subtle and long.
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Bruno Paillard’s family lineage of brokers and growers in the two Grand Cru villages of Bouzy and Verzenay dates back to 1704. Following in their footsteps, Bruno began as a broker in 1975, and acquired a deep and extensive knowledge of the region and its wines. In 1981, at the age of 27, he started his own Champagne house the first new maison in nearly a century. After renting a cellar for three years and purchasing carefully selected grapes from independent growers, Bruno released his first Champagnes. He then built his own cellar, allowing him total control over temperature, lighting and humidity. In 1990 Bruno built his current winery, and in 1994 began purchasing vineyards. He now has 62 acres, almost half of which are Grand Cru. The fruit from these vineyards cover 50% of his production needs and they are farmed organically and sustainably a rigorous and delicate job given that his holdings are subdivided into 70 different parcels. Bruno sources the remaining fruit through long-term contracts with high-quality, independent growers. The grapes are hand-harvested, only juice from the first press is used and each wine is vinified separately in stainless steel (75%) and oak (25%). The exception is N.P.U. which is fermented and aged entirely in oak. The multi-vintage blends incorporate 25-50% reserve wines. Sur lie aging is two to three times the AOC requirement - three years for the multi-vintages, at least eight years for the vintages and 10-15 years for the N.P.U. Although they are labeled as Brut, all of Paillard’s Champagnes are technically Extra Brut as their dosage is 6 grams or less per liter. Bruno Paillard produces a mere 42,000 cases per year. From the Brut Premiere Cuvee to the N.P.U. (Non Plus Ultra), each cru shares a hallmark a certain finesse and wonderful tension between fruit and acidity. Naturally, they pair beautifully with food and Champagne Bruno Paillard can be found on the wine list of more than 400 Michelin starred restaurants. All bottles carry the disgorgement date on the back label, a quality step pioneered by Paillard. After disgorgement, the bottles rest in the cellar for a minimum of 3-4 months before they are labeled and shipped.
Wine maker notes
Identity Champagne Bruno Paillard « 2004 Assemblage » is a blend – the proportions of which are kept secret – of 9 villages in the Champagne region, and of two grapes : Chardonnay (48%) and Pinot noir (52%). 9 years ageing in our cellars have allowed this wine to develop candied fruit aromas, raspberry, wild blackberries, honey and ginger bread, which complement each other in a harmonious symphony...
The 2004 season
A year with a temperate and harmonious climate, far from the excesses of the previous vintage… It is even relatively dry and cool compared with the decade’s average. March remains cool and April saw limited frosts, the vegetal development of the vine started late and flowering was steady between June 10th and 20th. With a warm and dry July the vine developed healthily but was threatened by hydric stress. This risk soon vanished thanks to heavy and frequent rains through August. This sudden rainfall reinvigorated the grape’s growth and maturity, and their development continued through September with a magnificent and warm Indian summer. This perfect end to the season sealed the destiny of the vintage, with the healthy grapes just needing to ripen. Harvests started on September 25th for Meuniers and on the 27th for Chardonnays and Pinots Noirs. They lasted 3 weeks.
Dosage As with all our wines « BP 2004 Assemblage » has a very low dosage of only 5 grams per liter. Degorgement in 2012, dated on the back label. Minimal post degorgement rest in our cellar before shipment: 12 months.
Label To illustrate this vintage, the artist Arthur Djoroukhian worked on the theme : “Harmony, Symphony”. Arthur Djoroukhian was born in 1972 in Georgia (Caucase) from an Armenian family. He studied at the Beaux Arts school of Dzerjinsk in Russia and obtained his art restorer diploma at Souzdal, which opened the door to many international projects. He moved to France – Poitiers - in 1994 and since 2000 has entirely dedicated himself to painting. He exhibits today throughout Europe and the United States. Arthur Djoroukhian’s work is not about just representing the object, nor scenarizing it, but more of a strong affirmation in the ways of the « Nouveaux Realistes » : the object affirms its evocating and polemic power (discover more of his work on www.djoroukhian.com).
(52% Pinot Noir/48% Chardonnay). The grapes were harvested from nine different villages and the wine was aged for nine years prior to disgorgement, then another 12 months before release. The dosage was 5 g/l.
Bruno Paillard was born in Reims in 1953. His lineage of brokers and growers in the two Grands Crus villages of Bouzy and Verzenay dates back to 1704. Following in the family’s foot steps, he starts working as a broker in 1975 acquiring a deep and extensive knowledgeof Champagne.
But after 6 years, he is taken by the overwhelming desire to create a different Champagne: one that would go beyond what existed in terms of purity and elegance.
We are in January 1981, Bruno Paillard is 27 years old, and with nothing but his will – no vineyards, no money – he sells his old Jaguar that had become a collector item to provide his company with a starting capital of 50 000 francs (15 000 Euros).
Madness! Nonsense! In a region that hasn’t seen a new house in nearly a century, the mood is rather conservative. But nothing can stop the dream of this pioneer of Champagne.
Bruno Paillard creates his Champagnes in a rented cellar with carefully selected grapes from independent growers. After 3 years of working like an alchemist, improving his know how, he finally reaches the style of his dreams.
In 1984, Bruno Paillard invents the first totally “ground level” cellar. This brand new concept allows an extremely strict control of temperatures, lighting and humidity.
And soon, the very personal style of his wines seduces. Bruno Paillard Champagnes are first recognized by the English Press as some of the best wines of the region. In 1988, the famous critic Hugh Johnson defines the house as “A Small but Prestigious Young ChampagneHouse With Excellent Silky Vintages and Non Vintages!”
In 1990, Bruno Paillard draws the current winery with his architect Jacques Blehaut: a state of the art structure with stainless steel, glass and wood symbolizing the 3 noble vessels of Champagne.
Revolutionary, this new cellar combines the traditional know how with the newest qualitative techniques.
In 1994, Bruno Paillard purchases his first vineyard: 3 hectares in Oger, a beautiful Grand Cru of the Cote des Blancs. Now, the vineyards of the house cover 32 hectares – half of the production needs – including 12 hectares of Grand Crus : Oger, Le Mesnil, Bouzy,Verzenay. The remaining half are today still purchased to the same independent growers families since the early 80’s.
In January 2007 his daughter Alice, one of four children, decided to join and continue the BP family adventure. Starting in the vineyards and then in the cellar for the first year, following with export development, Alice is now a shareholder and co manages the House withher father.
Today Bruno Paillard Champagne produces 4 to 500 000 bottles a year and export 75% of this wines through 40 different countries – mostly to Europe, Asia and Northern America.
Wherever they are represented, the Champagnes of Bruno Paillard are exclusively sold through traditional outlets such as restaurants and fine wine stores. This selective distribution is a guarantee of quality for the client thanks to the good care of sommeliers and fine wine merchants.