Pierre Paillard Blanc De Noir Maillerettes 2014
The Blanc de Noirs is pure with lots of complexity, fine and racy.
The Blanc de Noirs is a 100% Pinot Noir from a single vineyard of 0.8 acres called “Les Maillerettes”. It was planted in 1970. This wine has been crafted single vintage champagne every year since 2007 and farmed sustainably. Les Maillerettes is one of the mother plot of the Paillard’s sélection massale for Pinot Noir, a process that allows the brothers to propagate this exceptionable old vine and preserve the vinous identity of the domaine.
This vintage is enthusiastically animated showing a bouquet of red to dark fruit, brioche and grapefruit citrus aromas. The palate is delicate yet enthusiastic displaying red citrus flesh and pith with red and black fruit berries and a clean dry mineral finish. 100% Pinot Noir. Extra Brut – 2.7 grams per litre of dosage. Only 2,500 bottles are produced each year. Disgorged February 2019.
The grapes are picked when perfectly mature and carefully pressed, with great attention to their quality. Only the juice from the first two pressings is vinified. The heart of the cuvée is then vinified separately: after the alcoholic and malolactic fermentations, the wine is kept on its lees for eight months.
In their 19th century cellars, at a depth of 16 meters and a constant 10°C temperature, their young wines come into maturation. The combined effect of a second slow fermentation (2 months) and a 5-year ageing on their lees brings about the desired balance and texture.
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Wine is being produced throughout France and has been done for over 2,500 years with certain Châteaux dating their history back to Roman times, around 6th Century BC. Ranking second in the world in per-capita consumption and first in total production quantity. More so than the overall quantity of wine is the quantity of truly great wines coming out of France makes the nation the envy of wine-making nations worldwide.
Two concepts pivotal to the higher end French wines, in particular, are the idea of 'terroir' and the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system. Terroir refers to the way the geography, geology and climate find their way into the glass, telling a story of the origin of the wine. The AOC was set up in 1935 and has the primary goal of protecting the authenticity of the wines and the livelihoods of the producers. Appellation rules strictly define which varieties of grapes and winemaking practices are approved for classification in each of France's several hundred geographically defined appellations, which can cover entire regions, individual villages or in some cases, like in Burgundy even specific vineyards.
Classic wine regions in France include Champagne (home of Champagne), Burgundy (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot), Alsace (Aromatic varietals), Loire Valley (Chenin Blanc, Crémant) and the Rhône Valley (Syrah, Grenache Mourvedre)
The Bordeaux classification of 1855 is still in use, as is the Sauternes and Barsac Classification of the same year. Wines from certain regions can be bought En Primeur, which is when the wine is sold prior to it being bottled.
Champagne is a wine region to the north-east of Paris where wine has been grown since the Romans first planted in the 5th century and the region is most well known for the sparkling wine that goes by the regions name.
Champagne is made from 3 grapes. The two red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and the white grape Chardonnay. All three are commonly blended though a ‘blanc de blanc’ meaning ‘white from white’ indicates that only Chardonnay was used. Conversely a ‘blanc de noir’ or ‘white from black’ indicates that the two red grapes were used.
A common misconception is that Champagne was invented by Dom Pérignon. Although this is not the case, he made considerable contributions to the quality and production methods used in the region. The very first bottles of Champagne were created by accident, and coined ‘the devil’s wine’ for all the popping corks. Sparkling wine in Australia was referred to as Champagne but this practise has long been disallowed.
Methode Champenoise is the traditional method by which Champagne is produced and if you see Millisime on a bottle, it represents the fact that the wine comes from a particular vintage rather than being blended, which is the more common practice.
Icons such as Dom Pérignon and Kristal are world reknowned, but we find as much pleasure in the smaller Champagne houses such as Gosset and Jacquinot. Magnums are perfect for the festive occasions and half bottles are also available.
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About the brand Pierre Paillard
Domaine Pierre Paillard is eleven hectares of vineyard situated on the south side of the Montagne de Reims in the village of Bouzy. The vineyards are grown organically, and they use biodynamic pratices to invigorate the vines. Extraordinarily, the entire vineyard of Domaine Paillard has the highest Champagne classification of Grand Cru.
The Paillard family owns 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay grapes, blending Pinot Noir oriented Champagnes. The Paillards only use these ‘noble grape’ varieties and their entire production comes exclusively from their own vineyards.
Over the course of 200 years, the Paillards identified and procured 30 prime plots of vineyard in Bouzy, resulting in outstanding Champagne. Diverse topographical distribution, differently aged vines and this remarkable patch of terrain, produce complexity, richness, power, fruit and minerality.
The village of Bouzy is well known for producing grapes with good maturity, richness and generosity. Bouzy grapes are sought after and used in the top cuvées by the best known brands of Champagne.
For 20 years at Domaine Paillard, the vineyards have been treated without chemicals. The family has worked hard to breed and develop robust vines with natural disease resilience, avoiding chemical intervention. This is a key reason for the Paillard’s consistently high quality of Champagne.
Interestingly, the Paillards have a different timeframe compared to other producers in order to achieve the balance in their Champagne. They employ a patient and prolonged cellar maturation to create their trademark elegance, finesse and complexity.