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 desserts).
This N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra 1996 required more than 15 years of dedication to reach an outstanding result: it deserves a little bit of 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…
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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
Nec Plus Ultra, a latin phrase which literally means « There is nothing beyond »... A
highly ambitious statement which describes precisely what this wine is : a unique
Champagne for which the most demanding choices were made at each stage of its
production, regardless of their costs. From this crazy dream was born « N.P.U . - Nec Plus
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. We did
not select 1991, 1992, 1993 or 1994 : all « good » but not « great » vintages. But we
released a 1995 N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra. Here comes the third N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra ever
produced: the legendary 1996 vintage.
In 1996 the grapes combined a high maturity with an exceptionally rich acidity: a rare
and ideal combination to create a great wine displaying power and freshness - if given
the time to mature properly.
Exclusively from ”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 1996: Bouzy,
Verzenay, Oger, Le Mesnil sur Oger. Not only were they born of a great vintage, the
grapes are also from the noblest origin.
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 9 months.
During this period each « Cru » developed its own personality while acquiring these
slightly woody aromas which were used to be found in yesterday’s wines. The following
summer, in July 1997, we selected and blended the best 22 barriques (11 of chardonnay,
11 of pinot noir) of which we obtained 6 523 bottles.
More than fifteen years for a Chef d’Oeuvre...
Each bottle was then left to ferment and mature on its lees, for a long period of 12 years,
before « disgorgement » in the shade of our cool cellars. As always at Bruno Paillard, the
« Dosage » is very low. For the N.P.U. – Nec Plus Ultra cuvee it is even reduced to a strict
minimum, hardly perceptible. The bottles were then returned to the cellar for 2 years
and a half of further ageing before their launch on the market. All together, the creation
of this exceptional Champagne required 15 years, a unique example in the world of
human creations, not just in the wine world... 15 years for a Chef d’Oeuvre…
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 desserts).
This N.P.U - Nec Plus Ultra 1996 required more than 15 years of dedication to reach an
outstanding result: it deserves a little bit of time to open in the glass, and express its
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…
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.