Producer: Bruno Paillard
A year characterised by intensity: from the intensity of its weather to the intensity of its aromas. 2012 began with a mild winter which, in February, suddenly deteriorated. A cold spell set in for close to 10 days, with temperatures sometimes dropping down to as low as -20°C. The mild spring weather brought back in rain and cold temperatures which led to significant frosts in the vineyards. Thunder and hailstorms then alternated until summer and the very fragile flowering season was also cold. August brought back sunshine and high temperatures ensuring the grapes ripened evenly. But, the drought intensified creating hydric stress in certain sectors, despite the cumulative rainfall of previous months... The harvest took place without incident even if the rain, this time much welcomed, reappeared at the end. If the vintage unsurprisingly offered a relatively low yield, the quality of the grapes at harvest, particularly the pinots noirs and chardonnays, was exceptional.
THE BLENDING AND AGEING
Blanc de Blancs 2012 was produced exclusively from the first, purest pressings, of Grand Crus chardonnay from the heart of the Côte des Blancs: Oger and Le Mesnil-surOger. 20% of the grapes are vinified in small, old oak barrels. The wine spent eight years ageing in the cellar, including a minimum of 18 months rest after disgorgement, to allow it to reach its level of expression. Dosage: Extra-Brut : 3g/l.
Appearance: Brilliant gold, with a sustained, fine effervescence.
Nose: The nose is initially reserved. Little by little, the fresh notes of citrus and grapefruit open up in the wine. This is followed by intense aromas of stone fruit and ripe apricot; honeyed notes and concentrated white flowers sharpened by peppery and even menthol notes. After several minutes in the glass, hints of liquorice appear, alongside toasted bread and frangipane mixed with candied fruit.
Palate: The initial approach is enveloping; its substance is deep, full, almost carnal and punctuated by a slight efferverscence. Faithful to the nose, we find the fruit, the salinity, the spice of cedar wood... Strength, yet grace is uncovered as these layers successively open up.
To illustrate this wine, the Japanese artist Takehiko Sugawara was commissioned along the theme «Where strength marries grace». His work will take its place in the “Gallery of Vintages” at the Maison, in Reims. Born in Tokyo in 1962, Takehiko Sugawara enrolled at the Tama University of Fine Arts. In 1994, he received the Young Talent Scholarship awarded by the Gotoh Memorial Foundation. Since 2005, he has been teaching at the University of Arts and Design in Kyoto. Sugawara’s painting is reminiscent of that of the great Japanese masters. His work harmoniously mixes ancestral traditions with a modern approach close to pure abstraction. Conscious of the impossibility to reproduce nature to full accuracy, Sugawara assumes his role of creator of a new form of this same nature to which he gives an obvious emotional and spiritual charge.
Grape Variety: Chardonnay
Alcohol percentage: 12%