Close your eyes...
The tasting of such a wine can be a truly great moment. The bottle should be slightly
refreshed, at around 10°C, certainly not ice-chilled. The wine can be enjoyed on its own,
or with food (excluding deserts).
This N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra 1999 required more than 13 years of dedication to reach an
outstanding result: it deserves some time to open in the glass, and express its potential.
First admire the beauty of its bright deep gold colour and tiny bubbles. Close your eyes
and listen to its little music. Then smell its multiple and complex aromas which slowly
show through. Only after this moment, taste a little drop and let time stand still…
Wine Spectator 93 points - Very elegant, favoring form over flavor, with well-cut acidity and a texture like fine silk. This offers lasting, finely woven notes of quince paste, black currant, lightly toasted almond, dried pineapple and fleur de sel. Disgorged January 2012. Drink now through 2020. 959 cases made. –AN
(Nov 30 2013)
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The Bruno Paillard N.P.U.- « Nec Plus Ultra » was born from the idea to create the greatest possible Champagne wine, whatever the constraints. To do this, the most extreme choices have been made at each step of the production of this outstanding Champagne wine. This foolish dream gave birth to the N.P.U.-“Nec Plus Ultra”.
Wine maker notes
Only in truly great vintages....
First, an exceptional vintage is needed: after improving our ”savoir faire” during the
80’s, the first ever N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra, a 1990 vintage, was released in 2002. Then
came N.P.U. 1995 and the iconic N.P.U. 1996… After these three tremendous although
quite different vintages comes N.P.U. 1999, a wine with a seemingly more classical
In 1999, the summer drought stressed the vine strongly until several short but frequent
rains arrived early September, which progressively brought the fruits to maturity. The
1999 harvest offered perfectly healthy grapes, allying aromatic richness with a very
interesting ageing potential.
Exclusively ”Grands Crus” grapes...
Out of the 320 villages in the Champagne Appellation, only 17 are rated ”Grands Crus”:
grapes from 4 of these were selected to create N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra 1999: Bouzy,
Verzenay, Oger, Le Mesnil sur Oger. Not just born in a great vintage, the grapes also
originate from the most noble crus.
In small wooden barrels....
As always at Maison Bruno Paillard, only the first pressing - the purest - was retained.
But an essential characteristic of the N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra is that the first fermentation
was conducted in small wooden barriques where the wines spent their first 10 months.
During this period each ”Cru” developed its own personality while acquiring these
slightly woody aromas which used to be found in yesterday’s wines. The following
summer, in July 2000, we selected and blended the best 42 barriques (21 of chardonnay,
21 of pinot noir) of which we obtained 11 508 bottles and 508 magnums, each of them
More than twelve years in the Cellar...
The second fermentation followed almost immediately after bottling and a long
maturation started in our 10,5°C temperature controlled cellars. This bottle remained
ageing this way more than 12 years, including a “convalescence” rest after its
disgorgement – which date is indicated on its back label.As always at Bruno Paillard, the “dosage” is very low. For N.P.U. – Nec Plus Ultra it is
reduced to a strict minimum, 4 g/L, hardly perceptible. The bottles are returned to the
cellar for a year of “recovery rest” before their launch on the market.
Bruno Paillard was born in Reims in 1953. His lineage of brokers and growers in the two Grands Crus villages of Bouzy and Verzenay dates back to 1704. Following in the family’s foot steps, he starts working as a broker in 1975 acquiring a deep and extensive knowledgeof Champagne.
But after 6 years, he is taken by the overwhelming desire to create a different Champagne: one that would go beyond what existed in terms of purity and elegance.
We are in January 1981, Bruno Paillard is 27 years old, and with nothing but his will – no vineyards, no money – he sells his old Jaguar that had become a collector item to provide his company with a starting capital of 50 000 francs (15 000 Euros).
Madness! Nonsense! In a region that hasn’t seen a new house in nearly a century, the mood is rather conservative. But nothing can stop the dream of this pioneer of Champagne.
Bruno Paillard creates his Champagnes in a rented cellar with carefully selected grapes from independent growers. After 3 years of working like an alchemist, improving his know how, he finally reaches the style of his dreams.
In 1984, Bruno Paillard invents the first totally “ground level” cellar. This brand new concept allows an extremely strict control of temperatures, lighting and humidity.
And soon, the very personal style of his wines seduces. Bruno Paillard Champagnes are first recognized by the English Press as some of the best wines of the region. In 1988, the famous critic Hugh Johnson defines the house as “A Small but Prestigious Young ChampagneHouse With Excellent Silky Vintages and Non Vintages!”
In 1990, Bruno Paillard draws the current winery with his architect Jacques Blehaut: a state of the art structure with stainless steel, glass and wood symbolizing the 3 noble vessels of Champagne.
Revolutionary, this new cellar combines the traditional know how with the newest qualitative techniques.
In 1994, Bruno Paillard purchases his first vineyard: 3 hectares in Oger, a beautiful Grand Cru of the Cote des Blancs. Now, the vineyards of the house cover 32 hectares – half of the production needs – including 12 hectares of Grand Crus : Oger, Le Mesnil, Bouzy,Verzenay. The remaining half are today still purchased to the same independent growers families since the early 80’s.
In January 2007 his daughter Alice, one of four children, decided to join and continue the BP family adventure. Starting in the vineyards and then in the cellar for the first year, following with export development, Alice is now a shareholder and co manages the House withher father.
Today Bruno Paillard Champagne produces 4 to 500 000 bottles a year and export 75% of this wines through 40 different countries – mostly to Europe, Asia and Northern America.
Wherever they are represented, the Champagnes of Bruno Paillard are exclusively sold through traditional outlets such as restaurants and fine wine stores. This selective distribution is a guarantee of quality for the client thanks to the good care of sommeliers and fine wine merchants.