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Pierre Paillard, Les Parcelles, Bouzy Grand Cru - Magnum
Les Parcelles bottling offers a sophisticated and very precise picture of Bouzy terroir as golden fruit and salty stone fruit notes flood the palate, offering impressive reverb and depth for a wine at this level. Beautiful backlit peach and citrus fruit appear towards the finish, accented with fine herbs, chalk and a lick of autumn raspberry.
A steadily increasing proportion of wooden barrels is employed for the small lot vinifications that are the norm here, before ageing sur lie in their 17m deep, spotless, historic family cellars. In the case of Les Parcelles this runs to an impressive 48 months prior to release –commensurate with the fact that the blend is composed from 22 individually vinified plots of Grand Cru vineyards – quite a claim for a mere ‘entry’ level wine.
This is a gem of an estate of just 11 hectares, unusually blessed with having uniquely Grand Cru vineyards in the famed village of Bouzy. Nestled on the southern slopes of the Montagne de Reims, this village, along with neighbouring Ambonnay, is famed for producing some of the region’s most intense, profound and exceptional Pinot Noir. If you enjoy the statuesque wines of Egly-Ouriet, you will know what these chalky slopes can produce… The Paillards have been crafting wine in Grand Cru village of Bouzy for over 200 years, yet it is only in recent years that the estate has begun to fulfil its true potential. Brothers Antoine and Quentin returned to the Domaine in 2008, before taking full control in 2012. Bringing energy, an outward looking sensibility and a deep respect for their fantastic vineyards, the brothers have rejuvenated the estate to such a degree that it now stands as one of the finest family houses in all of Champagne. Being Bouzy, their holdings are dominated by Pinot Noir, most of which is either their own selection massale or Burgundian Pinot Fin and of an impressive age. Soil health is seen as paramount and as a result only organic composts and treatments are employed. Fermentations are spontaneous, malos never blocked, and the wines are never chaptalized or cold stabilised – this is the sort of hands-off winemaking that is only made possible by exceptional fruit and very attentive farming.
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