"Freedom, requirement, learning, questioning, exciting, exhilarating, frank, intimate, powerful, vibrant, alive, fragrant...
It is all these sensations, these words, these things that define and make us Craftsmen every day. The profession of winegrowers takes on its full meaning here.
Both globetrotter and “charuteur”, taster and winemaker, it is a whole, a whole that makes us identity winegrowers as M Savart so aptly puts it!”.
- Antoine and Quentin Paillard
Domaine Pierre Paillard is eleven hectares of vineyard situated on the south side of the Montagne de Reims in the village of Bouzy. Brothers Quentin and Antoine Paillard are 8th generation growers, as the Paillards have been crafting wine in the Grand Cru village of Bouzy for more than 200 years. Their varietals are broken down into Pinot Noir (70%) and Chardonnay (30%), all farmed sustainably. Most of the family’s vineyard has been propagated, via sélection massale, by taking cuttings from their old vines and with Pinot Noir Fin, traditionally planted in Bourgogne.
The brothers, devotees of biodynamic practices, work actively to protect and invigorate their soil through the use of their own organic compost and spraying with diverse teas of natural origins. This aims to conserve micro-organisms in the soil and maintain the existence of beneficial insects. Therefore, they never use herbicides or insecticides.
This theme of organic and biodynamic practices carries through to the cellar where there is minimal intervention; no chaptalization, enzymes, artificial settling agents or cold stabilization. The vinification, by plot, occurs in tank and oak with little sulphur added. Malolactic fermentation is never stopped, which ensures the acidity of the wine is softened.
They craft five Champagnes and two Coteaux Champenois (white and red) from Bouzy only, a rare thing in Champagne where the blending of villages and grapes is the norm. These are wines that highlight the famed terroir of Bouzy, made with finesse, precision and attention to detail. The wines benefit from extended aging on their lees. Certain cuvées, once bottled, are aged in the cellar for up to 10 years. The dosage for all cuvées normally falls in the Extra Brut range (2-4g/l) and equates to champagnes of both richness and power on the palate.
It's not frequent in a region like Champagne to see a rising top producer emerge, and we're witnessing this phenomenon with Pierre Paillard. I've known the Paillard Brothers for more than 10 years now. Given the vineyards they have, their work ethic and the skills they demonstrated early on, I knew something more than special would occur at this fine address.
These exceptional cuvées are must-have wines for serious collectors. Pushing the boundaries of complexity and intensity, and is reflective not only of superb vintages but also the prime terroir.