Pick of the Launches



Brand owner Champagne Bruno Paillard

RRP €190, US$200, £160

Markets UK, US, France, Italy, Asia: on-trade and high end retail

Contact Bibendum PLB group: bibendum-plb.com

This is only the fifth vintage of Bruno Paillard’s Prestige Cuvée, NPU – Nec Plus Ultra, which literally translates as “there is nothing beyond”. The concept of NPU is said to be to create an ultimate expression, producing the greatest possible champagne. It is a blend of 50:50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, from four of champagne’s grand cru vineyards – Oger, Chouilly, Verzenay and Mailly.

It is both fermented and aged in old oak barriques for 10 months. The wines are then aged in bottle in the cellars for 12 years, including a long post-disgorgement rest before release. Dosage is very low – Extra Brut – at 3g/l. The 2003 vintage is known as particularly difficult, making this wine something of a survivor. The year was characterised by unusually harsh spring frosts, several hailstorms and a long heatwave. But the most difficult element was the preconceived notion that no great wine could result from this vintage.